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New Zealand Winemakers

A Family Vineyard,

way off the beaten path.

 The vineyard

Who is Hillersden?

Hillersden is the first family-owned winery in the Upper Wairau Valley on the edge of the Marlborough region. Our growing love of wine has taken our family to the edge of the world where we have been creating the vineyard & winery fit for tomorrow. Hillersden wine is quite literally the fruit of our family’s shared passion for adventure and hard work.

What makes winemaking on the edge of the world so special?

Well, here’s our best explanation for the wine nerd in each of us. The landscape of Hillersden remains wild and untamed where our vines experience extremes of temperature and weather. These environmental stresses are the building blocks for flavour, where slower ripening of fruit means complexity of flavor and true balance.

The Technical Stuff

What’s the soil and environment like at Hillersden?

We grow our vines across three terraces carved out by the Wairau river over centuries. 140 hectares of varying soil structure and undulation from rich clay to loamy silt to free-draining stony soil all so we can develop complexity of flavor in our wines.

How does this result in such a flavorful wine?

Our environmental conditions mean our crops mature at a slightly slower pace. The vines take extra time to develop richer flavour profiles resulting in wines of weight, minerality and complexity come harvest. The brisk, cold nights that frost throughout the winter and early spring and the welcome heat each day in New Zealand’s sunniest region are the building blocks of our food-friendly wines and the foundation of Hillersden’s beautiful aromatics and brilliant texture.

Anything else cool about your process?

We value sustainability so we are creating practical engineering solutions for energy consumption and water supply throughout the winemaking process and have begun introducing organic practices where possible. For instance our fertilizer is an organic solution of kelp and seaweed.

Behind The Scenes

What’s the story behind the name “Hillersden”?

A small settlers’ town used to reside where the winery stands today. Before we moved in what was left of Hillersden was a faint memory of an industrious pre-war New Zealand town, today it is the heart of our wine operation connecting a community of wine lovers across the world reaching places those early settlers could never have imagined.

How did the Forlong family (the guys that own the place) get started?

We took a chance and traded our life in suburbia for the opportunity to plant roots in Marlborough and join the thriving wine community here on the edge of the world. Moving into the old Hillersden farmhouse and embracing the dirt and cold, we faced the challenge of creating the first family owned winery in the Upper Wairau Valley. Today we get to combine our love of wine and love of people together as we share our wines with the world. We are working hard every day doing our part in creating the future of the New Zealand wine industry.