Did you know that kiwi sailing legend Brad Butterworth lives in Switzerland?
I certainly didn’t – nor did I know that he had taken over the Julicher Vineyard on Te Muna Road, Martinborough.
“We loved the wine so much we bought the vineyard” jokes Brad
The Te Muna valley is notable for its deep, mineral-rich, alluvial gravels left by the Huangarua river of Martinborough. These soils along with the warm days, cool nights and low rainfall of the region, result in the outstanding Pinot Noir wines that Martinborough has won international acclaim for.
Legend has it that Wim Julicher had planned to plant olives on his 50 acre Te Muna Road estate – but he saw his neighbours planting vines and decided to have a go…
“Wim couldn’t help but notice how interested the top producers of the region were in purchasing his Pinot Noir fruit. Wim sold the entire first crop to local pioneers, Ata Rangi. As the second vintage rolled around Wim proposed to Ata Rangi that they make a few cases that he could label under his own name. Ata Rangi declined to set aside any of the top-quality fruit destined for their top wine, so Wim decided he’d keep the lot.”
You can read more about the Butterworth Te Muna Estate and their wines here.