Churton was established in 1997 by Sam and Mandy Weaver. From site selection and bio-dynamic practices through to low intervention winemaking, Churton produces exceptional terroir driven wines.
Churton is a 22 hectare single vineyard and encompasses an undulating ridge line between the Omaka and Waihopai valleys in Marlborough, New Zealand. 200 metres above sea level, the distinctive property faces northeast and captures the cool morning and warm daytime sun ideal for slow and long ripening. Soils are older and denser than the neighbouring valley floor with good clay content.
Sam and Mandy are dedicated to producing just four varietals; sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, viognier and petit manseng. Their vineyard in composed of 17 singular blocks each with its own unique aspect and topography and, at present, The Abyss and Best End are
Sam describes “Often biodynamics is regarded at the crazy end of organic production. What could be dafter than stirring cow dung matured in buried cow’s horn in water for 60 minutes then throwing it about on the farm, and then what relevance do lunar cycles have to farming practices. Are we lunatics or what?
At Churton I have a strong belief that our biodynamic farming approach is rational and makes complete sense.
Above all it helps us produce better wines that have more individuality and really demonstrate the farm (terroir) where they come from.
As a microbiologist I believe biodynamics works from the ground up. We work hard to improve our microbiology by using composts and various biodynamic preparations. We run a system that is a polyculture and actively encourage biodiversity by increasing our plant and animal species (We plant companion species of flora between the rows in the vineyard, raise our own cattle and keep bees). And yes, we do take note of lunar cycles; after all didn’t our grandfathers plant by the moon?
Wine making is an art as much as a science. Growing the best grapes to make the best wine combines both of these disciplines too. Biodynamic philosophy gives us a structure to help understand these disparate approaches and in the end really.”