Marlborough’s first vineyard, Auntsfield, was founded by David Herd in 1873. Upon arriving in New Zealand in 1854, Herd decided that the ancient glacial landscape with its highly mineralized soil, and its mix of sunny weather and cool climate conditions were all perfect for growing vines. With imagination and foresight, he began a winery that produced bold and fragrant wines which became highly regarded for over 50 years.
The Cowley brothers, Ben and Luc, bought the winery and have continued the heritage of David Herd by keeping his passion and dream alive and building on it with their own. The Cowleys now have 65 hectares of vineyards in 50 different plots surrounding Herd’s first area of plantings. Grapes which have shared ancestry with David Herd’s original vineyard are still grown on the same land today. The modern vineyard, tended by Ben Cowley, has Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (and a little Riesling). His brother, Luc, is the winemaker, offering three tiers of wine: the ‘Single Vineyard’ bottlings representative of the whole site; the ‘Single Block’ wines that showcase the personality of specific blocks; plus their flagship ‘Heritage’ wine, a Pinot Noir.