Gold Medals and Stellar Reviews!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on July 26, 2018

At No.1 Family Estate you'll know we make only one type of wine but we make it exceedingly well... There's a reason Daniel is known as New Zealand's Grand Poobah of bubbles!

We're delighted to let you know that we've recently been awarded two new Gold Medals!

  • GOLD for No.1 Rose at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships
  • GOLD for Cuveé Virginie at the Sommelier Wine Awards


Latest Reviews

Elin McCoy (award-winning journalist and author who writes for Bloomberg News) for Decanter

Just before the annual Central Otago Pinot Noir festival in January, I was dutifully working my way through an Air New Zealand tasting in a boring hotel conference room in Queenstown, when I was bowled over by a sparkling wine I’d never heard of before. The non-vintage No1 Family Estate, Reserve from Marlborough had the fresh, complex, salty, biscuity-rich finesse you find only in Champagne – and very good Champagne at that. The experience reminded me how much pleasure I get from an unexpected wine discovery, and how many surprises New Zealand always seems to deliver. […]
I caught up with the maker of the No1 Reserve, Daniel Le Brun, at a sparkling wine brunch in Marlborough later in my trip. A native of Champagne (where his family had made Champagne for generations), Le Brun arrived in Blenheim in 1978, well before the region surprised the world with its new-style Sauvignon Blanc.

Within two hours, so he says, he was convinced he could make sparkling wine there. He’d trained with his father and grandfather in Champagne, and, he chuckles, ‘I was the renegade, the first to leave since 1642’.

New Zealand’s pioneer of making solely ‘traditional method’ cuvées learned to adapt to the country’s climate while keeping Champagne yeasts and ‘other technique secrets’. His first winery, which still bears his name, was sold in a complicated takeover in 1996; his first cuvée under the No1 Family Estate label debuted three years later.

An impromptu sampling – ranging from the quality, elegance and layered chalky crispness of the basic No1 cuvée, to a fragrant rosé, to the 2009 special cuvées Virginie (named for his daughter) and Adele (his wife) – showed the region’s potential for great sparkling wine. […]”
Go to full article: here

Alyssa Vitrano for Grape Friend

“[…] Although New Zealand is mostly known for still wines, the few wineries producing sparkling wine are worth noting. 8 wineries have even started Méthode Marlborough to promote their traditional-method wines. We had a brunch where they paired them to a plate of savory bites and then a plate of sweet ones, and they were all pretty good.
Two sparkling wineries in the country stood out to me the most, though. In Marlborough, I tasted through the whole lineup at No.1 Family Estate, the only winery in NZ totally dedicated to sparkling wine, with founder and winemaker Daniel Le Brun and his daughter Virginie. Daniel came to New Zealand in 1978 from Champagne, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about these wines – ie, they’re fantastic!
Aside from the fact that you can’t grow Pinot Meunier very well in NZ (that’s one of the three traditional Champagne grapes), everything else about Daniel’s wines are about as close to Champagne as you can get. I loved the rosé which was light, very dry, and full of elegant strawberry. My other favorite was the gorgeous 2009 Virginie, a vintage sparkling he made when Virginie turned 21, which was full of honey and fleshy baked apple with a rich mouthfeel. But the whole lineup was elegant and had incredibly fine bubbles. Expecting them to come in at Champagne prices, I was shocked when they said most of them were under $35 (though the vintage Virginie and Adele are more).
Only problem is that they don’t make much and therefore don’t export a ton to the US, which is too bad since restaurants would crush it if they had any of these by the glass. […]”
Go to full article: here

Is it time to sample some award-winning wine yourself? Shop online HERE.


No1 Wine... Home & Away!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on June 20, 2018

At No.1 Family Estate we get lots of visitors to the cellar door, from both New Zealand and overseas. Almost everybody who visits us is keen to enjoy a glass of No.1 Family Estate wine, in the comfort of their own home!

Here are four of the most commonly asked questions we get asked by those visitors.

Is it safe to pack a bottle in my suitcase?
If you are wondering if the bottles will break on your flight, fear not. Although the plane's interior goes through small changes in atmospheric pressure, the cargo compartments are pressurized and heated. If they weren't, then all sorts of containers might explode and/or freeze. Nevertheless, to help ensure your wine gets home safely, we recommend that you place your bottle in a sealable plastic bag (try a WineSkin from our shop). After this, wrap the bottle to give it extra cushioning for the trip. Towels, sweaters, pants and shirts are good options. These will help protect the bottle from bumps and bruises during transportation. Finally, try to position the bottle snugly in the centre of your suitcase and surround it with more clothes.

Can I buy your wine outside N.Z.?
Certainly, you can. Here are the contact details of our distributors:

Where can I buy your wine in N.Z.?
Download this PDF  to discover a list of all the stores and restaurants where you can find our wines in New Zealand. 

Can I buy your wine at the cellar door and have it delivered to my home address within N.Z. or overseas?
Yes. Within New Zealand we will send the wine for a freight charge of $8. For overseas deliveries, check out NZ Wine Exports.

June means Winetopia!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on June 06, 2018

June is here and that means it’s time to visit Winetopia in both Auckland (22nd – 23rd June) and Wellington (29th – 30th June.

Winetopia is your opportunity to try hundreds of lovingly crafted wines, be inspired by famous faces and learn from wine gurus. You’ll discover delicious food pairings washed down with sultry live entertainment.

Of course, your Winetopia experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the No.1 Family Estate stand for a glass of bubbles, so we’ll look forward to seeing you there! As ever, we're making it a family affair... Remy will be in Auckland, and you'll find Virginie in Wellington. You'll have the opportunity to taste the classic No. 1 Cuvée, as well as No 1 Rosé, No. 1 Assemblé and the limited edition No. 1 Reserve.

Winetopia is the biggest public wine tasting event in New Zealand and a great wine day out.

No 1 Rosé – A wine for all seasons…

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on May 29, 2018

We’re excited to let you know that with a new release, No 1 Rosé is back!

100% Pinot Noir, delicate salmon-pink with a mass of tiny bubbles, this wine offers a seamless balance of subtle cherry and almond hints combined with a fresh acidity. Dry, yet fresh and elegant, this wine leaves a lasting impression of opulence and splendour.

While, this wine celebrates the superb climate of Marlborough, we believe it truly is a wine for all seasons to be enjoyed whatever the weather!

Contrary, to popular belief, your No.1 Rosé should never be considered simply as an aperitif. It’s quite at home as the star of the show! As a food-pairing champion it’s delicious with duck and lamb, and in the depths of a southern hemisphere winter what could be more comforting than roast lamb for Sunday lunch… Time to break out the bubbles!

If you’re in the northern hemisphere and enjoying a splash of summer, we’ve discovered the perfect recipe for you, a deconstructed cassoulet in a summer salad, with crispy duck legs and mesclun salad! Perfect for al fresco dining. Find the recipe HERE.

In the UK? Order your wines from Amathus, or if you’re in New Zealand buy online.

Three reasons to raise a glass in London this month

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on May 01, 2018

At No.1 Family Estate we believe there’s always an occasion to raise a glass of bubbles. In fact, we generally concur with Madam Lily Bollinger, who said, 

“I only drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not in a hurry and drink it when I am, otherwise, I never touch the stuff unless I am thirsty.”

But, for those of you in or around London who are looking for an occasion to toast something special here are three reasons to raise a glass this month.

1.     Happy Holidays – With, not one, but two public holidays in May we’re all hoping for some sunshine. If the weather gods don’t shine, make sure your extra day off sparkles nevertheless! Buy your wine from Amathus.

2.     Royal Nuptials – On May 19th Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Of course, you don’t need to be in or around London to toast this, but if you are in the vicinity of Windsor Castle, the Carriage Procession should begin around 1:00 pm. Enjoy a long lunch afterward, with bubbles of course!

3.     Let’s Get Fizzical - Join us at Let's Get Fizzical; a Three Wine Men event. Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin MW and Olly Smith have searched the globe for their favourite Champagnes and sparkling wines and No.1 Family Estate is among them! Tickets are very limited for this special tasting and sold out last year so if you love bubbles buy your tickets here

How to treat the Best Mum in the World!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on April 25, 2018

Here at No. 1 Family Estate, as our name suggests, we believe family is tremendously important! And the day is fast approaching where it’s customary to celebrate a very special family member… May 13th is Mother’s Day!

If one was to compile a job description for the post of Mum, it would be never-ending, and the skills required to do that job would be numerous. But of course, it’s not always a Mum who does the job of a mum… So, we want to give you the chance to treat the person you think is the Best Mum in the world, whoever that may be!

We're giving away... Seven $100 Vouchers for seven fabulous restaurants around New Zealand. All you have to do to enter is fill out the entry form HERE.

Here are four other ways to celebrate the person you call Mum on Mother’s Day!

  • Breakfast in Bed – Make it a sparkling start to a celebratory day, by including a glass of bubbles.
  • A Special Saunter – Take your Mum on her favourite Sunday jaunt. If you’re out and about in Blenheim call into our cellar door on Rapaura Road and we’ll make sure you get to raise a glass to celebrate.
  • Lovely Lunch –  Whether you make Sunday lunch at home, or head out to a favourite restaurant, it wouldn’t be complete without a bottle of bubbly.
  • Happy High Tea – Enjoy a deliciously decadent afternoon tea. Choose sweet and savoury treats that are sure to delight, but don’t forget the fizz!


However, you choose to spoil Mum we wish you all a marvellous day and remember, we can deliver a special gift to your special mum! Buy yours HERE.


Celebrate the holidays with No.1 Family Estate

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on March 22, 2018

Easter is just around the corner and that means a lovely long weekend!

If you’re in the Northern hemisphere you’ll be hoping for a little spring sunshine, and in the Southern hemisphere, we’ll be hoping that the last days of summer bring us some warm days to ease us very gently into Autumn. But, even if the weather doesn't play ball, with the right wine you can still ensure your long weekend is a sparkling success!

Here is our No1 guide for Easter festivities sure to bubble over with joy!

  • Get the party started early - Plan a delicious brunch with eggs, (of course… It’s Easter), smoked salmon, bagels and don’t forget the bubbles! Perfect for a family get together before everybody heads off to do their own thing. Choose No. 1 Assemblé as the perfect accompaniment.
  • Enjoy a long lunch – There’s nothing quite like a long, lazy lunch with family or friends. But don’t serve bubbles simply as an aperitif… Our wines, happily hold their own as part of the main attraction or dessert. If you’d like some inspiration, take a look at this article from the archives… The Thirsty Work lunch.
  • Save room for tea – We’re talking afternoon tea, with savouries, delightful sandwiches, scones and not forgetting the star of the show… No.1 Cuvee!
  • Host a sparkling soiree – A relaxed evening get together over the holiday weekend is a perfect way to enjoy the company of great friends. Keep it simple, just a few canapes, so you can enjoy the company, conversation and of course first-class fizz!
  • A decadent dinner – Whether it’s an intimate dinner for two or a larger gathering, bubbles will always delight! For a truly spectacular evening, don’t be reserved, but do drink Reserve!


In the UK? Order your wines from Amathus, or if you’re in New Zealand buy online.

Vintage 2018 - It's Harvest Time

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on March 12, 2018

You’ll find that at No.1 Family Estate we are among the first winemakers in Marlborough to declare Harvest Time! That’s because we need a higher acidity and lower sugar levels to make a perfect sparkling base. We always aim to pick our grapes at around 19 brix. In previous years the grapes have reached this level as early as 28th February, and as late as 29th March, but for 2018 the sugar/acid balance was (as Goldilocks would say) just right during the first week in March.

Three grape varieties are used to craft No.1 Family Estate wines, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are usually the faster ripening varieties, and therefore the first to be harvested.  However, this year our Clone 95 Chardonnay was, for the first time ever, at optimal ripeness before the Pinot. Something magical could come from this!

It takes many man hours to complete harvest, we hand-harvest eight tonnes (two press loads) each day until we’re done. Hand-harvesting takes longer than machine harvesting, but when you’re making wine the Methode Traditionelle way you harvest grapes with the tender loving care that they have become accustomed to on the vine. This also ensures that the fruit being picked is of excellent quality. A further consequence of hand-harvesting is that the marc (grape stalks) help create a juice channel. This allows the juice to run without picking up bitter compounds that are found in the seeds and skins.

Contrary to popular belief, for us, day and night time temperatures throughout the season have more of an influence on a vintage than a weather event leading up to it. Hot days and cold nights give us the best results as the grapes ripen whilst maintaining good acidity.

It will be a little while before you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of our 2018 labour… Our 2018 base wine will be bottled in October 2018, it will then spend two years in the bottle before being disgorged so you can expect to buy the 2018 vintage Christmas 2020. Now that’s something to look forward to! In the meantime, you can enjoy other vintages… Shop our wine HERE, or order your wines from Amathus Drinks in the U.K.

Valentine's Day Inspiration - Plus It's Competition Time

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on January 23, 2018

It’s that time of year again! Just three weeks until Valentine’s Day, so we wanted to remind you how easy it is to let us play Cupid and spoil your No.1 love with bubbles this year.

  • If you’re in the throes of a new romance, why not gift a bottle of No. 1 Assemblé? Just like your love it’s fresh and inviting with sophisticated characters and intense flavours.
  • For those of you who like to celebrate love with a classic wine, choose No. 1 Cuvée. One of New Zealand's most highly regarded Méthode Traditionelle wines. You can also gift twice as much love this year with a beautifully packaged “Two of One” gift box.
  • For your vintage love, choose a vintage Méthode Traditionelle. Cuvée Virginie is blended from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. This wine was also a recent Gold Medal winner at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards.
  • And for the man in your life, we’d recommend No.1 Reserve, as individual as the person you are gifting it to, each bottle is individually hand numbered and hand labelled.

We’re so thrilled to play Cupid we’re even running a Facebook promotion at the moment. It’s easy to enter! Simply LIKE US then enter the draw on our Facebook Page and you could win a $150 Voucher from your choice of six fabulous restaurants.

  • Oyster & Chop – Auckland
  • Ortega Fish Shack & Bar – Wellington
  • Scotch Wine Bar – Blenheim
  • Urban Oyster Bar & Eatery – Nelson
  • Roots Restaurant – Christchurch
  • Ivy & Lola’s Kitchen & Bar – Queenstown


Enter HERE. Good Luck!

Win Tickets for Marlborough Wine & Food Festival

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on January 09, 2018

New Zealand’s best and longest-running wine and food festival, The Marlborough Wine & Food Festival is just a few short weeks away.

We’re proud of our longstanding history with this iconic Marlborough event, in fact, we were involved in the very first Marlborough Wine & Food Festival in the 1980s, at the request of Ernie Hunter.

Since then we have continued to put the fizz into the festival, with regular attendance and themed stands from Putting on the Ritz to a stand that marked the bicentennial of the French Revolution, guillotine and all!

The Marlborough Wine & Food Festival is as much part of a Marlborough summer, as ripening vines, dry sunny days, evening strolls and dining outside with close friends and family.

A taste of what's to come... This image was taken at Taste Auckland

These days, the organisation of the No.1 Family Estate stand has been handed over to a new generation, with Remy and Virginie, taking over the reins. And this year we’ll have a double stand at the event where you’ll be able to enjoy our award-winning wines.

  • No. 1 Assemblé
  • No. 1 Cuvée
  • Cuvée Virginie
  • No. 1 Reserve


To celebrate this year’s festival, we’re giving away a pair of general admission tickets to one lucky winner. You can enter the competition HERE.