Founded in 2005, Walnut Block Wines is the vision of two brothers – Clyde and Nigel Sowman. In combining their experience in viticulture and the wine industry with their passion for and appreciation of fine wine, they have created a boutique winery offering a unique range of superbly crafted organic Marlborough wines. The estate takes its name from Marlborough’s oldest walnut tree that towers majestically above the Sauvignon Blanc vines, providing a special historical focal point for the vineyard.
First planted in 1996, the Walnut Block vineyard lies in the world-renowned Wairau Valley. Marlborough’s unique winegrowing conditions reflect a combination of alluvial soils, deposited over thousands of years from an ancient river bed that flowed between the mountainous borders of this valley, the region’s high sunshine hours and the temperate New Zealand climate. The soils found here in Marlborough’s Rapaura sub-region provide ideal growing conditions for intensely fruit-focused wines. With stony, free-draining subsoils and younger alluvial silts layered above, Rapaura encourages a unique style, with generous ripe-fruit flavours and pungent aromas. As Clyde says, “By allowing the vines to evolve organically and adapt to the environment we can produce wine that highlights the region’s diversity.”
The decision to farm organically reflected their belief that they could grow grapes of finer quality than those grown using conventional methods. As the vines have become more self-sufficient and naturally balanced a greater depth of flavour and improved mouthfeel in the wines has become apparent. The entire 17 hectare estate is certified organic by BioGro New Zeland. Labour intensive vineyard methods produce consistent, exceptional fruit quality, and the use of traditional winemaking techniques and attention to preserving delicate flavours result in expressive and balanced wines.
The Collectables wine series label has been proudly designed to bring some of New Zealand’s rich history to wine lovers. Depicting an adaptation of the 1898 Kiwi New Zealand stamp, the label is symbolic of New Zealand’s past and these young fruit driven Marlborough wines.The Nutcracker range is the flagship brand and represents the pinnacle of the vineyard’s fruit. The dedication that the brothers and their team demonstrate in organic winegrowing allied to only applying minimal intervention allows nature to truly express the terroir in these exemplary offerings.