The 1990s were a time of discovery and courage in Marlborough. Deep in the Waihopai Valley, Bryan and Jan Johnson had the audacity to establish 320 acres of estate vineyards on land considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine.
It was a venture that started with a passion for the land. This pioneering spirit established one of New Zealand’s most successful boutique family-run wineries, now exporting eight varietals to 35 countries, from a crush capacity of 3000 tonnes.
Today, Spy Valley’s commitment remains to the land and to the people who tend it – we are simply farmers at heart, nurturing soil and vine to cultivate the complexities in our wine. And we’re mindful that it’s our focus on sustainability which will ensure our guardianship of this land for generations to come.
We’re considered a little clandestine around here, deep in our bewitching valley. Perhaps it comes with being named for our proximity to the spy base down the road, but we like a bit of mystery.
Perhaps it’s because we are always searching for the best of the best to produce exceptional wine. Perhaps it’s because managing eight varieties of grapes takes a great deal of knowing the land, the environment and climate, and in the past we’ve classified these traditions.
These are secrets, however, that we’ve decided it’s time to share.