Our vision is to create a unique wine by fundamental principles. High density close planted vines in our Martinborough Terrace vineyard are tended by hand and managed organically and biodynamically for low yields and concentrated fruit.

William Grace is a small family vineyard located on the Martinborough Terrace a short stroll from the town square on New York Street.

It is very much a family affair and recognising the input of our children our name William Grace is taken from their middle names. The old windmill on our logo was on the site when we purchased the property and serves as a local landmark so we planted our vines around it to preserve its status.

Our vision is to create a unique wine by fundamental principles. High density close planted vines in our Martinborough Terrace vineyard are tended by hand and managed organically and biodynamically for low yields and concentrated fruit. Minimalist and low intervention, traditional wine making and aging in the finest French oak allows the terroir of our site to be faithfully expressed in our limited bottling.

We have one single focus in everything we do and that is to produce a world class Pinot Noir. Please enjoy it with the heart that we have put into the making of it.

Mark St Clair and Debbie Bowie

Mailing list

Keep up to date with new releases and seasonal vineyard updates.

The Place

William Grace vineyard is located on New York Street on the northern edge of the Martinborough township. The vineyard is situated on Martinborough Terrace an ancient river terrace carved by the Ruamuhanga River. The terrace is composed of alluvial gravels with silt loam free draining soils.

Martinborough is in the rain shadow of the Rimatuka and Tararua Ranges and one of driest places in the North Island with an average rainfall of around 780mm per annum.

Viticulture

William Grace is a truly boutique operation, its size allows us to give attention to every plant on our vineyard. Our family and friends planted the vines in 2009 setting out from the start a hands on approach to every aspect of viticulture.

In order to best reflect the terroir of our property we follow organic and biodynamic principles in our viticulture practices. It is our time working in the vineyard managing the vines through the growing season that we believe is reflected in our wine.

2015 William Grace Pinot Noir

2015 Pinot Noir
Current release

Sorry, sold out!

Sign up to our mailing list and we'll let you know when 2016 is ready to order.

Harvest date 2 April 2015
Clones Abel and 115 on Riparia Glorie rootstock
Pruning Two cane pruning / green harvest to one bunch per shoot
Vinification 100% destemmed – indigenous yeasts – 21 days on skins – 33°C max temp.
Ageing 12 months – 2 year old Francois Freres half barrel
Fining or filtering None
Bottling date 5 August 2016
Alcohol by volume 12.8%
pH 3.52
Titratable Acidity 5.6
Residual Sugar 0.25 g/L
Production 12 cases
Photo by Kate Quigley

In keeping with our organic principles, the 0.1ha vineyard is set out with hardwood timber end-posts (Eucalyptus – Globoidea) and steel VEE-POST intermediate posts, to prevent any soil contamination. The trellis system is Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) with the fruiting wire at 500mm.

The clones we chose, Abel (75%) and 115 (25%) on low vigour Riparia Glorie rootstock, are well suited to Martinborough. Because we are doing everything by hand, getting machinery up the rows is not an issue. Allowing us to plant the vines at a density of 10,000 vines per hectare (1.1m by 0.9m spacing). This density of planting stresses the vines and concentrates the flavours.

Again sticking to organic principles, we do not use herbicide or pesticide sprays. The sprays we do use are sulphur, seaweed and biodynamic preparations (500 and 501).

The vines are pruned two canes, with a maximum of 10 buds per vine (with these younger vines usually less). Shoot thinning and leaf plucking (80% on eastern side) occurs in spring. Green harvesting is carried out just prior to veraison, to achieve a low yield of one bunch per shoot.

Harvesting is by hand, with sorting and selection taking place in the vineyard.

Vinification and Ageing

We make our wine under the guidance of Paul Mason.

The grapes are 100% destemed and then fermented in an open top stainless steel tank. We rely on indigenous yeasts with ferments lasting approximately 15 days at maximum temperature of 30°C.

The wine under goes secondary fermentation and ageing in one year old Francois Feres barrels for 12 – 15 months. There is no fining or filtering of the wine. The wine is bottled on site by family and friends.

Reviews

William Grace Martinborough Pinot Noir 2015 (Dec 2017)
★★★★★
Beautifully composed and styled, this splendid pinot shows spiced cherry, black tea, smoked game and toasted almond characters on the nose with nuances of dark mushrooms and dried herbs. The palate is concentrated and richly textured, wonderfully supported silky texture and fine, chalky tannins, backed by seductive flavours. The wine is graceful and impressively complex, and exhibits gorgeous harmony and seamless integration. At its best: now to 2023. (Dec 2017.) 94/100 points.
— Sam Kim, Wine Orbit

William Grace Martinborough Pinot Noir 2015 (Dec 2017)
★★★★
Moderately deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with fragrant aromas of dark-red berry fruit with subtle nuances of dark herbs and hints of earthy detail, unfolding soft red floral notes. The fruit has purity and builds to form a fine core, Medium-bodfied, the palate has gently sweet and rich fruit flavours of dark-red berry fruit with subtle savoury herb nuances, unveiling red florals and hints of spice. The mouthfeel is supple with fine-grained flowery tannin extraction, and enlivened by fresh, lacy, balanced acidity. The wine carries smoothly along a velvety line leading to a light-fruited, moderately sustained finish. This is a finely presented, sweet, red berry and floral fruited Pinot Noir with a supple, near-velvety palate. Serve with antipasto, poultry and pork over the next 5 years. Fruit from the ‘William Grace’ vineyard on ‘Waihinga Gardens’, fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 12.8% alc., the wine aged 12 months in a 2 y.o. Francois Frere half-barrel, and bottled without fining or filtration. 12 dozen made. 18.0-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $45.00
— Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz