Zephyr wines are made in Ben’s trademark expressive style, elegant with personality. Ben has spent more than two decades making wine for some of New Zealand’s top brands, earning a reputation as one of the most talented and respected winemakers in the business.
The Glover family was one of the first to plant grapes on their farm in Marlborough’s Dillon’s Point sub-region in 1988. Nineteen years later, led by eldest son Ben, the family launched Zephyr, a range of single vineyard wines from the farm. The name Zephyr means ‘a gentle breeze’. Inspired by the prevailing wind that moderates their vineyards, it is the perfect fit for the Glover family. Never still, always on the go, always innovating and planning their next move on the farm, in the wines and with the family.
The family farm runs alongside Marlborough’s Opawa River and over 4 generations was home to a successful dairy operation. Owen Glover dedicated much of his life to developing a revered pedigree Friesian herd. But after realising his 4 children had no interest in getting up at 5:00am to milk cows, Owen and Wendy looked over the fence. Inspired by the pioneering efforts of some other Marlborough mavericks, they opted to swap out milk for wine, selling the herd and converting the paddocks to vineyard. They had a feeling their Dillon’s Point land had the potential to produce world class wine, and this new venture might mean an end to early mornings.
Today, rows of Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc have thrived in the fertile loam soils that provide Zephyr wines with lively aromatics, great depth of flavour and excellent structural longevity.
The farm and vineyard
The Opawa River runs along the southern boundary of this family vineyard and is the lifeblood of the property. It is this river, over the centuries, which has flooded and deposited fertile silt loam onto the vineyard sites. Its waters are home to abundant plant, bird and fish life; most importantly Whitebait, a local delicacy in Marlborough and perfect with a glass of Zephyr Riesling.
The soils of the vineyard sites are fertile, north facing, and the sub-region is described as ‘early country’, sheltered from the harsh southerly weather patterns, sitting in the lee of the Wither Hills to the south east of the Wairau Valley floor.
The Zephyr vineyard is only 3 km from the high tide mark and the vineyard is approximating 10 metres above sea level. Being so close to the sea, some years they see a very unique flavour profile in some of their wines. There is a distinctive umami note, a salty influence that creates a unique sense of place from this single vineyard site.
The soil structure is Kaiapoi silt loam. It has a fertile soil profile, which borders the Opawa river. The soils become more clay loam in structure further north away from the river.