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Murdoch James Estate

In the South Wairarapa valley on the North Island of New Zealand, in a small picturesque town, Murdoch James Estate is one of Martinborough’s pioneering wineries. It was established over 20 years ago when, Roger and Jill Fraser, first planted Pinot Noir and Syrah on the river- stone terraces of the region with the focus on producing wines of distinction. Murdoch James wines are named in memory of founder Roger Fraser’s father. Today, the winery is carried on by Nicola Belsham, David Bloomfield and Joel Watson.

Murodoch James Estate vineyards and wines are broken into two ranges. The Estate Range is a combination of grapes from both vineyard sites. The “High Block” Pinot Noir is a limited, ultrapremium grape growing in soil conditions with a mixture of calciferous lime, clay and river silts with a high mineral content exclusively from the High Block vineyard. The action of the Australian tectonic plate, scraping the bed of the Pacific plate millions of years ago, gave rise to the limestone rich hills of the High Block Vineyard of Murdoch James Estate, Martinborough. The lime and clay based soils of the vineyard allows white wines a vibrant fruit flavor with a long, lingering, mineral finish, and red wines of complexity and character. True to their terroir, the wines of Murdoch James Martinborough are rich in flavor and elegant in structure.

The High Block Vineyard, originally planted in the mid 1980s, sits on the banks of the Dry River, overlooking the valley with the snowcapped Tararua mountain ranges in the distance. This vineyard’s location makes it an ideal microclimate for growing premium Pinot Noir, as it sits on ancient seabed scraped up by the action of the Pacific & Australian tectonic plates, in lower half of the North Island. It is elevated enough to escape frosts, but allows a slightly longer ripening period than the other estate vineyards located on the river terraces. This unique site, combined with Martinborough’s warm days and cool nights, forms the character or ‘place’ that is reflected in the Murdoch James High Block Pinot Noir.

Murdoch James Estate’s “Long Gully” vineyard enjoys premium grape growing soil conditions with a mixture of calciferous lime, clay and river silts with a high mineral content. The lime and clay based soils of the vineyard allows the white wines a vibrant fruit flavor with a long, lingering, mineral finish, and red wines of complexity and character. True to their terroir, the wines of Murdoch James Martinborough are rich in flavor and elegant in structure.

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