The Pass wines were named after the saddle in the range that separates the two main valleys in Marlborough, the Awatere & the Wairau. This saddle allowed travellers to “pass” between the two.
The Wairau Valley
The valley’s distinct soil variation, cool dry climate and diurnal temperature swings are responsible for producing the complex fruit flavours and brilliant structure synonymous with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
The Wairau Valley, referred to by the indigenous Maori tribe as “Kei puta te Wairau” or “the place with the hole in the cloud,” refers to the outstanding rain shelter in the valley. The majority of Marlborough’s extensive vineyard plantings are around Renwick, Blenheim, and Cloudy Bay.
The Awatere Valley
South of the Wairau Valley is the smaller Awatere Valley with vines planted on river terraces along gentle rolling hills stretching inland from the sea. Awatere Valley soils contribute to the distinct minerality found in the wines. A slight elevation combined with a cooler, windier climate deliver typical lower yielding vines resulting in bright acidity and distinctive fruit concentration.
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