Drylands is the Marlborough Winery of Nobilo Wine Group, the home of the Drylands Vineyard and the Drylands brand
Drylands are a super premium range of Marlborough varietals made from grapes predominantly drawn from the Drylands and surrounding Rapaura area vineyards. These are recognized by all as an excellent expression of the Marlborough style. Drylands vineyard produces Sauvignon Blanc with intensely herbal and some sweaty characters. Fruit from the alluvial silts produce aroma and racy characters while fruit from the stonier sites has a textural character. Fruit from this vineyard shows traditional, typical Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc characters. This vineyard now has Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand Accreditation.
Originally a small winery, recent significant improvements have grown Drylands to an impressive 14,000 tonne state-of-the-art winery capable of handling large volumes as well as boutique parcels. Situated near the middle of the Wairau Valley Region, 30m above sea level, the current Winery Block comprises 43ha Sauvignon Blanc, 1.5ha Semillon, and 1.5ha Chardonnay. The region immediately adjacent to the winery buildings has some of the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines, going back to 1980.
The Wairau River, from which the Wairau plains are formed, has meandered across the valley floor during the past centuries. This has left behind an intricate pattern of gravels and silts which have been laid down. These changes in soils can occur within short distances and often more than once in any particular vineyard block. Drylands Vineyard is like this, with river gravels and pockets of silt occurring sometimes within the same row of grapes.
This most innovative of New Zealand's winerys stands on land originally tamed by the pioneering Robinson family
These earliest settlers farmed here for generations, and after weathering the climactic droughts of the 1970’s they christened the 33-acre block Drylands. It was 1980 when Ewan Robinson brought in the area’s first grapes. Planted on their own rootstocks, the Sauvignon Blanc at Drylands’ Home Block are now some of Marlborough’s oldest established vines.
Rugged mountains fringed by a pristine coastline, glacial valleys that help create free-draining soils and a series of individual microclimates… when the wine world thinks of New Zealand, their first thought is Marlborough. A winemaker’s paradise, this environment offers up an incredibly wide selection of flavour components as the long dry summer days and cool nights allow grapes full character development.
A valley carved by the meandering Wairau River has become the source of the region’s most acclaimed wines. It is here that an intricate pattern of gravels and silts has been laid down by centuries of river shift. The stonier soils produce a textural character in the fruit, whilst the rich alluvial silts impart aromatic and racy qualities. Often these soil variations can occur within the same row of grapes, and this defines the unique harvest of the Drylands Vineyard. With a small harvest that rarely lasts more than two weeks, both time and care run at a premium
Free-run juice is separated from pressed juice for individual cold fermentation within twelve hours of entering the winery. The word intensity defines not only the fruit characteristics, but also the Drylands winecrafting process. Master Winemaker Darryl Woolley always said he was searching for the best. After 30+ years in the industry, he may have found it with Drylands.
Creating and developing the classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a daily passion for Darryl and his team. That same pioneering approach is also reflected in their work with the Chardonnay, Dry Riesling, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Pinot Noir. In Drylands, Darryl has allowed the extraordinary character and individuality of each site’s fruit to shine through, and his exceedingly high standards for quality are evident in every bottle. It is these attributes that have become the cornerstone of Drylands.