Exploring the unique essence of the grapes from Marlborough’s micro-regions is what drives winemaker and owner Simon Waghorn from Astrolabe Wines. His absolute passion and integrity shines through and makes Astrolabe consistently one of Farro’s top-selling Marlborough drops.
Simon’s aim is to highlight the purity, intensity and distinctive flavours of the region’s fruit. Grapes from the Awatere and Wairau valleys and the Kekerengu Coast – whether bottled alone or blended – all have quite unique identities. Simon works with dedicated growers who understand the rhythms of the land and know how to grow grapes that express the terroir to add complexity and character to the finished product. Each site has been specially selected for the unique flavour it produces.
Astrolabe was set up more than 20 years ago by Simon and his wife Jane. Simon began his winemaking career in South Australia in 1982 and eventually came back to New Zealand, with his family living in Te Kauwhata and Gisborne, before settling in Marlborough in 1995. This is where he decided to have a go at making wine under his own label.
Fittingly, the winery takes its name from a ship that French explorer Dumont d’Urville used to explore the Marlborough coast in 1827. This is a reference to the way Simon takes an explorative approach to the local characteristics and the distinctive qualities of the grapes grown in Marlborough’s micro-regions to craft his wines.
The cool and dry climate, unique terrain and topography make Marlborough a world-leading producer of aromatic white wines – in particular, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Astrolabe wines are truly world class.