Cloudy Bay, 30 years of New Zealand wine excellence

Wines & Spirits


The Cloudy Bay winery, a trailblazer that enabled the world to discover the amazing winemaking potential of New Zealand, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Milestones in a proud history…

Cloudy Bay was founded 1985 in the Marlborough region at the north of New Zealand’s South Island, bordering the eponymous bay discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770. Thanks to a contrasted marine climate whose variations are propitious to winemaking, the winery has continually pursued bold innovations, faithful to the vision of its founder, David Hohnen. A pioneer in the development of New Zealand wines, he identified the potential of the region and captured its essence by deciding to develop sauvignon blanc, producing wines that have become a benchmark for quality. Success came quickly, and in 1990 the winery joined the portfolio of estates outside France managed by Estates & Wines.

Although sauvignon blanc is what initially made Cloudy Bay’s reputation, its specialists also recognized the potential of pinot noir back in 1985 and planted the first vineyards of this grape variety. Good things take time, and the first pinot noir vintage was not released until 1994. With their rich refinement and even quality, both pinot noir and sauvignon blanc have since expressed the distinctive Cloudy Bay style. The estate marked an exciting new stage in 2000 with Te Koko, a barrel-aged sauvignon blanc fermented using natural native yeasts, a first in New Zealand. And in 2013, Cloudy Bay expressed the best of the Central Otago terroir with the Te Wahi pinot noir.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary in true pioneering style, Cloudy Bay will organize a year-long series of private dinners and tastings with wine experts from the world over. The first of two big events on the calendar was an intimate garden party held in the heart of the estate on March 31, an opportunity to thank all those who have helped the House thrive since its creation in 1985. Then, on September 30 in London, Cloudy Bay will invite the most prominent names from the wine world to a vertical tasting with an exceptional flight of six older sauvignon blanc and pinot noir vintages during a gourmet dinner. This collection will also be auctioned in conjunction with the tasting.