Subregion: Taylor Pass
Valley: Southern Valleys, Wairau Valley
Grows: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Wine: Blank Canvas 'Escaroth' Pinot Noir and Blank Canvas 'Escaroth' Chardonnay
Growers: Andy and Kyna Laurie
Escaroth is the source of our Blank Canvas 'Escaroth' Pinot Noir (the inaugural vintage being 2017) and Chardonnay (the inaugural vintage 2019). Andy and Kyna are devoted to their parcel of paradise nestled in the Taylor Pass which is the more rugged alternative connection between the Wairau and Awatere Valleys in Marlborough. They have been farming this land since 2000, planting their first vines in 2001.
Soils and Climate: These are some of the oldest soils in the region, being very low-vigour clay soils which is perfect for low yielding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The north-facing slope means excellent exposure in what is a more extreme climate - with greater diurnal range - than in the main Wairau Valley.
Vineyard: The vineyard is dry-farmed and everything is done by hand - this is because of the hillside nature of the site being adverse to machinery! The Pinot Noir is a mixture of clones comprised of 115 and 777 which provides complexity and fragrance in the resulting wine. The Chardonnay is all Clone 95 - our favourite Chardonnay clone.
Grower Philosophy: The Laurie's live on the vineyard and are devoted to the land. Andy was born and raised in Dunedin, while Kyna hails from California. They built Escaroth from scratch twenty years ago seeing the potential in the micro-climate and terroir.
What is the meaning behind ‘Escaroth’?
Andy explains, “the name comes from "lake town" in the Hobbit where the elves sourced their wine, and being a "ringer" way before it was Peter Jacksoned, the dragon Smaug guards the entranceway to our vingarden. Smaug has two burners in each nostril and does breath fire, however this was soon learnt by others and it is now de-commissioned due to the "visitors " who drove up and down the driveway firing it up!” Smaug still acts as a useful deterrent however!