Inland, the mountains look down on the stony-soiled vineyards of the Wairau Valley. From here, and other famous parts of the Marlborough region, a reputation for outstanding wines has spread around the world. Distinct regional characteristics have been celebrated, since the first plantings in 1973. Mount Riley is the predominant peak in the Richmond Range of mountains that overlooks the Wairau Valley.
The form and shape of Mount Riley is instantly recognisable to many of the worlds wine lovers, with a photograph of Mount Riley and the surrounding Richmond Hills seeming to appear whenever an article on the Marlborough region appears. The experienced viticultural team at Mount Riley, manage all work in the vineyards, and believe passionately in the adage that "good wine is made in the vineyard" ; they spend an enormous amount of time and effort in the vineyard as an addition to their winemaking role.
Mount Riley Wines was formed with the intention of producing premium quality Marlborough wines. The Marlborough region was chosen for it's unique terroir and worldwide reputation. This reputation has developed in the short period since 1973 when grapes were first planted. The directors of Mount Riley took extreme care in vineyard selection, visiting dozens of vineyards and sites before settling on Mount Riley. The individual vineyards have been chosen for their unique attributes, each different, yet with the potential to produce outstanding quality grapes.
The winemakers have vast experience in handling Marlborough's premium grape varieties to produce the finest wines. Across the ranges there is enormous variety. But every wine shares a consistent commitment to quality. As well as acclaim from wine writers, show judges and wine lovers worldwide, Mount Riley wines have won a succession of gold and silver medals and trophies.
A portfolio of vineyards, totaling 252.5 acres of the Wairau Valley and Seventeen Valley areas, are owned and managed by Mount Riley Wines. Each site was chosen carefully, for its unique attributes and ability to produce grapes of outstanding quality.
MOUNT RILEY VINEYARD 50 acres - Established 1996 Planted predominately in Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, the vineyard offers a magnificent view of Mount Riley and the Richmond ranges. The land is a mixture of river stones and sandy loam, lying on two north-facing terraces.
BLINKBONNIE VINEYARD 42 acres - Established 2001 This vineyard is home not only to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc vines, but was purchased as the site of the new Mount Riley winery and cellar door. Situated just south of Blenheim, with a one-kilometre frontage, the 'home' vineyard is easily located by visitors. A nursery for newly grafted vines is also contained within its kilometre-long stretch of land.
WAIHOPAI VINEYARD 23 acres - Established 2002 This new 23 acre vineyard is planted in Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot and Riesling vines. The site is extremely stony and perfectly suited to the production of premium quality fruit.
SEVENTEEN VALLEY VINEYARD 34 acres - Established 1996 Five minutes south of Blenheim and away from the Wairau Valley. Seventeen Valley Vineyard has a unique mesoclimate, with soil that's extremely stony and of low fertility. All of which make it perfect for the production of high quality, intensely flavoured Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec and Chardonnay. The vineyard's grapes form the backbone of the Mount Riley premium wines.
MARATHON DOWNS VINEYARD 85 1/2 acres - Established 1984 Right in the heart of the Wairau Valley, Marathon Downs consistently produces a high standard of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Merlot grapes.
GREYSTONE VINEYARD 18 acres - Established 1980 This well known vineyard has an outstanding record of producing premium quality grapes. It is planted with various clones of Chardonnay, 5 acres of old Semillon vines, 3 acres of Riesling and outstanding Sauvignon Blanc grapes