Toast of the UK with first Champion Trophy win

A “crowd-pleasing” classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has given Indevin its first Champion Trophy at the prestigious International Wine Challenge awards in London. 

The 2018 Cowrie Bay Sauvignon Blanc took out the Great Value Champion White 2019 at the July awards dinner with the judges describing it as one of “five world-class, budget-friendly winning wines”. 

Indevin Executive Director Phill Dagger says it’s worth noting that four of the five winners are available in UK supermarkets, and that three of the winners are supermarket own-label wines. 

“It is fantastic to see this wine getting the recognition it deserves. We have strived to make Cowrie Bay truly reflect a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and this is a wine we are all very proud of,” says Dagger. 

“Cowrie Bay has picked up several accolades over the years but the Champion Trophy is the pinnacle.  

Launched in 2010, Cowrie Bay is produced exclusively for Waitrose supermarkets in the UK. 

A silver medallist at the awards for the past three years, Cowrie Bay is a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of wild gooseberry, basil and lime evident on the bouquet.  


Read the media release about Indevin’s inaugural Champion Trophy victory..


London Wine Show

London Wine Show

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) is now in its 36th year. The IWC is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage.

Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each medalwinning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least 12 different judges and awards include medals (Trophy, Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended and Great Value awards.

This is how some of our wine medalled:

Cowrie Bay Sauvignon Blanc, 2018  Tiki Ridge, 2018  Waitrose Blueprint New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

Cowrie Bay Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

Tiki Ridge, 2018

Waitrose Blueprint New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

Tesco finest* Syrah 2016  Tesco finest* Pinot Noir 2017  Tesco finest* Sauvignon Blanc 2018  Tesco finest* Barrel Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017  Mahia Point 2018

Tesco finest* Syrah 2016

Tesco finest* Pinot Noir 2017

Tesco finest* Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Tesco finest* Barrel Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Mahia Point 2018

Tesco finest* Quintet 2018  Tesco finest* Gisborne Chardonnay 2017  Wairau Cove Pinot Grigio, 2018  Wairau Cove Rosé, 2018  Wairau Cove Chardonnay, 2018  Crux, 2018

Tesco finest* Quintet 2018

Tesco finest* Gisborne Chardonnay 2017

Wairau Cove Pinot Grigio, 2018

Wairau Cove Rosé, 2018

Wairau Cove Chardonnay, 2018

Crux, 2018

2018 International Wine & Spirit medals

Three of our branded wines medalled recently at the International Wine and Spirit Competition, winning two silvers and a bronze. The medallists were:

• Paikea Gisborne Chardonnay 2017, awarded Silver 2018

• Cowrie Bay Chardonnay 2017, awarded Silver 2018

• Cowrie Bay Merlot 2016, awarded Bronze 2018

These wines are sold exclusively in Waitrose supermarkets in the UK. At the same competition the following Tesco brands medalled, which are also made by Indevin:

• Tesco finest* Riesling 2018, awarded Silver 2018

• Tesco finest* The Quintet 2017, awarded Silver 2018

• Tesco finest* Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Reserve 2017, awarded Silver 2018


2018 Marlborough Young Viti of the Year - Ben Richards

Ben Richards tells us what’s involved and how he became good mates with an Olympic skier.

Q: It’s your second time competing, why did you enter again?

A: I really enjoyed the competition last year, despite it being nerve racking when I competed in Hawke’s Bay and came second, I learnt a lot about the industry as well as myself, and I got to put myself in front of industry leaders. Having moved to Marlborough this year, I wanted to meet like-minded young people and again put myself to the test. It is such a great environment, and everyone is there to support and help.

Q: Was the competition different competing in Hawke’s Bay compared to Marlborough?

A: Surprisingly, the competition was quite different. The sections were the same (eco-trellis, machinery, budgeting, interview, pest and disease etc) but the tasks were very different.

Q: What’s involved in the process leading up to the event?

A: Leading up to the event there is a lot of study (learning about the sponsors, current wine industry events, pest and diseases etc) as well as having to prepare a business proposal on a weed management system and write a three-minute speech.

Q: What are the events that you really enjoy?

A: To be honest I enjoy all of them. Some of them you hate on the day (eco-trellis as is a very physical section) but the best thing to do is not get to tied up on the things you don’t know and just enjoy yourself. On the day, if you don’t know the answer, stressing about it isn’t going to make you suddenly remember it.

Q: What do you get out of the competition?

A: The best thing is meeting the other contestants (friends for life or in some people’s cases they have met their partners there) and all the industry leaders. I guess you only get out what you put in.

I was lucky enough to be invited to be part of a pilot TV series bringing together inspiring Gen X and millennial Kiwis who are reaching for extraordinary dreams. I met some amazing people including Olympic skier Beau-James Wells, who I became good mates with.

L-R: Ben Richards with Indevin’s Group Viticulture and Supply Manager, Shane Speakman

L-R: Ben Richards with Indevin’s Group Viticulture and Supply Manager, Shane Speakman

Cowrie Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Wins Gold!


At the tail end of last year, we entered three Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wines into

The Drinks Business Sauvignon Blanc Masters tasting competition.

Please see below the results for the 3 wines entered:

  • Cowrie Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - Gold

  • Tesco Finest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – Silver

  • Wairau Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – Bronze

This is a terrific set of results that we are very proud of, especially given the comments from the organisers below.

“To put this in context, of around 300 entries less than 5% achieved Gold Medal status and only two were awarded higher, so this truly is a fantastic result for you. As we had so many entries our judging panel had to be especially tough this year”

 Huge congratulations to the Marlborough Winemaking Team on this fantastic result.


Indevin Marlborough had its turn to host The Right Honourable John Key, as well as the National candidate Stuart Smith.

The Prime Minister’s group experienced a 1 hour tour of the Marlborough winery facility, following the winemaking process from start to finish.

Discussions were had around Indevin’s history, the winemaking process and export opportunities.

Marlborough Production Manager Logan Boyce said "The visit ran smoothly and special thanks to all those that contributed to cleanliness and tidiness of the Marlborough site".


This is the second year that Indevin Blenheim has run a vintage Photo Competition.  

The competition has been fierce this year with a large number of very professional photos received.

It's very encouraging to see how much the staff enjoy getting involved. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who entered. 

It’s great to see the spirit of vintage snapped in a picture!  


Will Krippner and Alice Rule did extremely well at the Hawke's Bay Young Viticulture competition this year, making Indevin very proud.
Will is a permanent vineyard worker at Indevin and has enjoyed working outdoors amongst the vines for about two years. 

Before coming on board at Indevin Will had been undertaking wine making and grape growing degrees at EIT, Hawke's bay. Will said "I continue to learn new things with every season that comes along and each year I look forward to the challenge and experience offered from doing the young viticulturist competition."

Alice has been working through a contractor in the Hawke's Bay vineyards, she also trialed Drones during vintage for bird scaring. Alice is also Co-Founder and Managing Director of Precision Aerial Technologies, she is passionate about improving data collection methods on vineyards using multi-spectral cameras and thermal imaging services.

Will won two categories, Budget and Machinery and came third overall.  Alice won Pest & Disease, well done to both of them.

Boyce Block first Harvest

The infamous Boyce's Block which has been owned and farmed by the Boyce family for over 100 years has been harvested for the first time!

The 125ha vineyard was developed and planted exclusively with Sauvignon Blanc in late 2013 following Indevin entering into a long term ground lease with the Boyce family.

Indevin's CEO Duncan McFarlane said "The growing conditions since development have been optimal resulting in a small “18 month” crop off the vineyard for Vintage 15. This fruit was harvested on Wednesday 18th March and the Indevin Viticulture and Winemaking teams are delighted with the quality of this first crop".

This is great news for the Insider Wine Club as members will see some of this top-notch inaugural wine appear under the #honorary label later this year.

Check out the fantastic footage below

boyces-block (1).jpg


As part of Indevin’s ongoing focus on building its Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc supply base, we are delighted to have purchased the established Terrace Downs Vineyard from Highfield Estate.

This prime 78 hectare (190 Acre) vineyard located at “Centre Valley” has the Wairau River running the length of its Northern boundary. The vineyard is located on two river terraces consisting of friable stony silt loams over gravels. “We’re really happy to have to secured another well-established vineyard in a proven Marlborough sub-region” commented Indevin CEO Duncan McFarlane, “This vineyard along with the plantings we’ve undertaken over the past two years adds further certainty to our long term supply base and complements nicely the excellent relationships we enjoy with our community of Marlborough growers.”

Indevin has experienced strong growth in the UK and US markets over recent years and has been bolstering its grape supply base to support future aspirations. Indevin Executive Director (Export and Wine Supply) Phill Dagger explained; “Our offshore partners have huge confidence in the future of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and we’ve collaborated with them on their long term plans and aspirations. Acquisitions such as this add further certainty and confidence to all concerned”.

The winemaking and viticulture teams are looking ahead to the 2015 harvest with a keen interest in what the latest addition to Indevin’s stable will add to the mix when it comes to producing our 2015 wines.


Shane Speakman (GM Viticulture and Supply) has taken on the challenge to develop three new Marlborough vineyards this year. The Waihopai Vineyard and Selmes Road property will be planted with 30 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc apiece while Grantham Street vineyard at Grovetown, is 15 hectares in size and will also be planted with Sauvignon Blanc. All three vineyards will be planted this year and are expected to reach full production by 2018. 


Steger Vineyard Planting Complete

After an intense four month process, Sauvignon Blanc planting, posting and guarding at the 27 hectare Steger Vineyard is now complete.  
Indevin have taken a long term land lease on this site which is situated in the picturesque lower Waihopai Valley to further strengthen its Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc supply base.

Indevin's General Manager Viticulture & Supply Shane Speakman says "Each and every vineyard development is an interesting challenge and watching a vineyard transform from bare land to being fully planted in four months is something quite special".

Shane expects a small production of fruit to come off the vines in vintage 2016 and for the vineyard to be at full production by vintage 2017.

Steger vineyard after being planted

Steger vineyard after being planted

A Key Visit

Indevin Gisborne was surprised by a group of VIP guests, when the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John Key stopped by along with local MP and Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley, and National candidate Paul Goldsmith.

The Prime Minister, minders, entourage and a large media contingent were treated to a 45-minute tour of the Gisborne winery with Deane Caughey (GM, Operations) and Hamish Anderson (production Winemaker) as tour guides. With the election looming only a week after his visit, the Prime Minister was in full campaign mode, taking time to meet and chat with the team before signing several bottles of ‘Prospect’ Chardonnay. We have it on good authority that he is an avid Chardonnay drinker and will have a case of The Prospect on standby come election night.

Congratulations to the Gisborne team for playing terrific hosts and making the most of a great opportunity to showcase our fantastic winery. 



Indevin Hawke’s Bay was delighted to enter William Krippner - aka ‘Kryptonite - in this year’s ‘Young Viticulturist Awards’. Will was ‘green’ to vineyards when he started with us at the Phoenix and Twin Rivers vineyards ten months ago, despite being half way through a viticulture degree. His background is in film and drama, including a degree in filmmaking, making his progress even more remarkable!

Will was up against seven other talented young people for the award, including a three-time winner who ultimately took the award out for a record fourth time. Will did Indevin proud by achieving first place in the budgeting section and excelling in the other categories.

The awards are a great opportunity for young viticulturists to network, make friends and hone their skills. The day concluded with a dinner at Villas Te Awa winery, where contestants were required to make a speech. Will’s presentation on the Gimblett Gravels appellation was well received.

Other Indevin staff involved in the event were: Fraser Agnew, Hawke’s Bays vineyard supervisor, who judged the pruning section of the competition and Andy Dodds and Carson Green who entered the inaugural grape race for older viticulturalists. The latter missed out on a first placing by one point and both say they will be back for revenge next year!

Will intends to try his luck again in 2015 and we have high hopes that he will bring home the big award in the near future.

young-viticulturist 2014.jpg