One of Marlborough's pioneering winemakers, Kevin Judd's appreciable career is intrinsically linked with the global path of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Kevin's personal venture, Greywacke (pronounced "grey-wacky"), was unveiled in 2009, fulfilling a long-held dream for himself and wife Kimberley. Named after New Zealand's prolific bedrock, Greywacke was originally adopted as the name of the Judds' first vineyard in Rapaura, whose soils had an abundance of these river stones. Now living in the Omaka Valley overlooking Marlborough's striking patchwork of vines, Kevin sources fruit from mature vineyards in the central Wairau Plains and the Southern Valleys. Alongside winemaking, Kevin's talent for photography has seen his evocative images appear in countless publications worldwide, and inevitably, take pride of place on the labels of his solo winemaking venture -- the synthesis of his dual passions.
"Kevin Judd is a Marlborough pioneer and the founding winemaker of Cloudy Bay. He's spearheading a movement in small-production, artisanal wines in a region known for large scale operations, focusing on lower yielding clones to enhance quality and on wild yeast fermentations to create his signature style."
Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator (2013)
The wines of Marlborough are known worldwide for their precision, intensity, and distinctiveness, bequeathed by an extraordinary climate and a diverse collection of soils. The expression of unique sites within this distinguished environment lifts the wines of Greywacke to another level. Kevin takes a low-intervention approach to winemaking in order to coax the finest nuance of individuality from each hand-selected vineyard parcel, while maintaining the aromatic intensity for which Marlborough is renowned. Purity of varietal expression is a foregone conclusion in the fruit Kevin works with; indigenous yeast are then left to run their course in new and older French oak barriques, ensuring ample texture and complexity in these compelling wines. Already garnering worldwide acclaim, they show a common thread of layered concentration, fine structure and invigorating freshness.
Bound by the Pacific Ocean to the east and towering mountain ranges to the north, this north-eastern corner of the South Island boasts a broad alluvial plain and steep valleys of favorable northerly aspect. In cool, sunny conditions, Marlborough grapes enjoy a long, slow, ripening period with marked diurnal temperature swings that build intensity, retain structure, and enhance color development. The diverse collection of soils has a great impact on style and quality, and while New Zealand does not have a designated national rock, if one were chosen it would undoubtedly be greywacke. Kevin sources fruit from mature, sustainably farmed viticultural sites in the central Wairau Plains and Southern Valleys, collaborating with growers on organic initiatives, the use of cover crops, under-vine weeding and composting, as well as yield-restricting techniques and intense canopy management regimes.