Hunter’s Managing Director Jane Hunter and General Manager Peter Macdonald (Mac) recently travelled to London to celebrate 50 years of Laithwaite’s Wines.
Laithwaite’s Wines founder Tony Laithwaite has had a long and significant relationship with Hunter’s Wines, helping the late Ernie Hunter to put the family business on the map in 1986 with Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc.
Jane and Mac were thrilled to be able to join Tony in London last month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the business opening in 1969.
“The Vintage Festival, Tony Laithwaite and Hugh Johnson have become an integral part of the Hunter’s story and the start of the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc story,” Jane says.
“The iconic photos of the late Ernie Hunter signing our first export order with Tony Laithwaite, Hugh Johnson congratulating an exuberant Ernie Hunter at the 1986 Sunday Times Vintage Festival where Hunter’s Fume Blanc was voted wine of the show on all three days are replicated even to this day to reiterate our early success in the world of wine. The Vintage Festival has become part of our annual trek to the UK – it is in our DNA!”
Tony recently launched his own book, Direct: Tony Laithwaite My Story, detailing his journey in the wine industry.
Jane and Mac attended the Vintage Festival in London, where they launched a special release Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc in honour of the anniversary.
Hunter’s Senior Winemaker James Macdonald says the Sauvignon Blanc produced to mark the occasion offers an exciting new style.
“It was 90% tank fermented and 10% barrel. We chose the most exciting grapes of the season and gave extended lees aging in tank before bottling,” he says.
“The resulting wine is something like Sauvignon Blanc on steroids. Intense on the nose with richness and depth on the palate. We think it is an exciting new style”
Five hundred cases of the limited release wine were produced for the celebration.
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