In Waipara back in 1993, a gentleman named Russell Black planted 8 hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and such was the inception of Black Estate.
In 2007, Nicholas Brown took over this beautiful site with his wife, Penelope Naish. They've since expanded the vineyard area and employ biodynamic and organic principles in their farming, becoming certified with BioGro.
Nicholas has had an impressive winemaking career thus far, spending time in cellar-hand positions at wineries across the globe, including Isole e Olena in Chianti, Opus One in the Napa Valley and a large winery a little closer to home in Marlborough.
Excitingly, Nicholas was recently crowned as the 2022 NZ Winemaker of the Year by Gourmet Traveller Wine! A huge and well deserved achievement that is very much a reflection of the impressive sustainable management of the vineyard and minimalistic approach taken to his winemaking.
“I love following the seasons, and the way the vine is connected to that rhythm of nature. I think that’s what drew me to [winemaking]. I really love getting inspiration from nature.”
- Nicholas Brown, Black Estate Winemaker
We recently tried their 2020 Pinot Noirs (Damsteep, Home and Treble), and were blown away by their class, power and sophistication. And the 2020 Home Chardonnay was damn wonderful too. These are wildly underpriced wines for the quality within, so our advice is jump on board now!