Place, People and Passion
This article was intended to be a look at the very suave new packaging for Wither Hills but to be honest, that part kind of speaks for itself. It looks great; it has some lineage to the iconic labels of late and it takes a slightly more artistic, painterly and emotive approach in its homage to the land and the contours of that land that it celebrates, as well as the iconic architecture of the winery.
And this is where it gets complicated to talk just about the brand because in this case, it is so linked to a number of elements. Not only is the brand linked to the product, which is generally important but it is linked to the people, the heritage, the region and the variances even within that region.
For Marlborough-based Wither Hills, the land part is a big deal. Located at the north-east tip of the South Island of New Zealand, Marlborough is the jewel in New Zealand’s winemaking crown. It produces the biggest part of the nation’s wine and is home to hundreds of wineries and thousands of hectares planted in grapes. Within this special environment, Wither Hills also enjoys the variables of three distinct vineyards:
Rarangi Vineyard combines a spectacular site situated 600 metres from the coastline, interlaced with native wetlands and a unique mixture of soils – pea gravels to uplifted seabed. While it feeds into many of the wines, it is uniquely captured in the age-worthy Rarangi Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc.
Iconic to the history of Marlborough, Taylor River Run No. 14 was bought by the Honourable Charles Bigg Wither in 1848 – the pioneering farmer after whom the Wither Hills were named. Now thriving with Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, this is the vineyard home to The Honourable Pinot Noir – made in tribute to the man who played such a key role in the region.
Benmorven Vineyard is fully organic and 100 percent clay, tucked into the foothills of the Wither Hills range. It has a uniquely protected microclimate, perfect for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The organic principles honed here have been adopted across other vineyard blocks too, allowing the nuance of each vineyard to shine through a little brighter.
Of course, land is one thing but, you don’t get anything out of it without the right people – people like Matt Large, the Head Winemaker who has brought global vintage experience back home to Marlborough to work alongside fellow winemakers Andrew Petrie, Patricia Miranda-Taylor, Jane de Witt and the rest of the Wither Hills team. And when the “Wither Hills Made Beautifully” campaign sprung to life a few years ago in celebration of the connection between bottle and place, it strived to go beyond that to touch on those everyday moments it all comes together – in a catch up with a friend, a laugh or a much needed wind down at the end of the day – those moments made beautifully, with others. And so with their branding, Wither Hills set out to pay homage to the fact that within each bottle there is really a capturing of a beautiful dance of place, people and passion with all the variables that land and life throw into the mix.
Find out more about what makes Wither Hills so special at WitherHills.co.nz