The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Saint Clair founders receive Lifetime Achievement Award

The founders of Saint Clair Family Estate – Neal and Judy Ibbotson – have been named the 2020 recipients of the Wine Marlborough Lifetime Achievement Award.

After 42 years of involvement in the Marlborough wine industry, the husband and wife duo were recognised on Friday 30 October, at the Marlborough Wine Show awards lunch.

Marcus Pickens, Wine Marlborough GM, says the Ibbotsons have been integral in all aspects of Marlborough’s burgeoning wine industry and have been tireless promoters of Marlborough wine.

“They have always placed Marlborough first and Saint Clair second on their international sales trips, and with their attention to quality have helped cement the region’s reputation both domestically and internationally,” he says.

The Ibbotsons were one of the first nine property owners to become contract growers for Montana, back in 1978.

In 1994 they made the decision to establish their own label, Saint Clair Family Estate and since then the company has grown to be one of the largest private family-owned wine companies in New Zealand.

Neal was a farm consultant at the beginning of their move into grapes, expanding into vineyard consultancy.

As Judy planted out their original vineyard, Neal became involved in the original Marlborough Grape Growers Association.

Both have been long-time supporters of the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival and helped push the diversity of the region’s varietal mix, particularly with the company’s Pioneer Block range, which focused on single vineyard wines.

Saint Clair Family Estate was also awarded four Trophies at the lunch, including The Coterie Provenance Award, recognising the best single vineyard current release wine from any class and the Marlborough Museum Legacy Award, honouring wines of the same varietal produced over a 10-year period.

Did you know?

There are 6 ways you can catch up with The Shout NZ?

Our print magazine – September issue out now! Subscribe here.
Online, updated daily with its own completely unique content and breaking news.
Our weekly newsletter – free to your inbox! Subscribe here.
Our digital magazines – the latest issues are online now, here and here.
We are also on Facebook and Instagram!