No.1 News and Updates

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.

3 reasons to give bubbles this Christmas.

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on December 12, 2017

Christmas is a time for giving. It’s also a time when everybody likes to indulge in a little luxury and enjoy the finer things in life; that’s why a bottle of bubbles makes a perfect gift for friends, family, clients or colleagues.

Here are three reasons why you should choose No.1 Family Estate wine as a gift this Christmas season.

  • When you gift bubbles, you’re gifting a memory – Everybody remembers occasions more than gifts. The recipient of your bottle of bubbles will always remember the time and place they opened it, they will likely be with friends or family, so your well-chosen gift will add to the creation of a perfect memory.
  • A bottle of No.1 Family Estate wine is a gift that says ‘you deserve the best’ – When you gift a bottle of No.1 Family Estate Methode Traditionelle wine, you are gifting hand-crafted, award-winning, luxury. At No.1 Family Estate our wine is made only from grapes grown in our own vineyard in the stunning Wairau Valley in Marlborough. At the optimal time, usually in March, the grapes are hand harvested, with the tender loving care that they have become accustomed to on the vine. The art of blending is the true craft of a master champagne maker and when Daniel's skill and the science of winemaking come together a little bit of magic is created.  The combination of specialist old-world techniques, combined with new-world growing conditions is just a small part of what makes No.1 Family Estate wines so special.
  • A bottle of No.1 Family Estate wine is a gift that will make every person sparkle – Within our range of wines there is a gift for everybody. Our classic No. 1 Cuvée, one of New Zealand's most highly regarded Méthode Traditionelle wines, is sure to delight. No. 1 Assemblé is fresh and inviting with sophisticated and typical characters and intense flavours. And the recent recipient of an Air New Zealand Wine Awards Gold Medal, No.1 Reserve, is as individual as the person you are gifting it to, each bottle is individually hand numbered and hand labelled.


Shop our wine HERE, or order your wines from Amathus in the U.K.

Have yourself a sparkling little Christmas!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on December 05, 2017

Christmas is a perfect time to celebrate the joy of being with family and friends; and nothing marks an occasion like a glass of bubbles… That said, those of you who know us, will also be aware that at No.1 Family Estate we don’t think that bubbles should be reserved solely for special occasions. Neither, do we believe that your glass of sparkling wine should be reserved simply as an aperitif, indeed all of our wines are food pairing champions… So, with that in mind, we thought we’d share three ways to enjoy No.1 Family Estate wines throughout your Christmas Day celebrations.

A bubbly brunch - Whilst we love a long lunch, we’re also up for any excuse to get the family gathering started early, so why not plan a delicious brunch with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, bagels and don’t forget the bubbles! We suggest No.1 Assemblé.

A light lunch – A delicious seafood platter is always a crowd pleaser. For smaller gatherings, oysters and No.1 Cuvée are a match made in heaven! We recommend that you serve them “Au Naturel”, the flavour of the oyster is so delicate that they are best served chilled with a squeeze of lemon, a grind of black pepper and a little brown bread.

A decadent dinner – If you’re cooking a traditional Christmas dinner of roast turkey and trimmings, then look no further than the intensely flavoured No.1 Reserve. The subtle smokiness of freshly sliced roast turkey will pair beautifully with the wine’s complex biscuity notes.

However, you choose to enjoy your Christmas Day bubbles, we wish you all the joy of the season and a bon appétit! Buy your wine HERE. Or order your wines from Amathus in the U.K.

Let's get tasting!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on November 13, 2017

Hurrah! Taste of Auckland is just two days away.

This fabulous event is your opportunity to try signature dishes from some of Auckland’s most exciting restaurants in a beautiful al fresco setting surrounded by pop-up winery stands, food stalls and drink experiences, and we’ll be there too!
No.1 Family Estate is proud to be the official bubbles sponsor in the corporate hospitality area. But that doesn’t mean you have to have a VIP ticket to enjoy No.1 bubbles at this fabulous event. We’ll also be exhibiting there, so head along to our stand, where you’ll be able to enjoy a glass of our three recent Gold Medal winners…

·      No 1 Rosé

·      Cuvée Virginie

·      No.1 Reserve

As well as the classic No. 1 Cuvée, one of New Zealand's most highly regarded Méthode Traditionelle wines; and the fresh and inviting No. 1 Assemblé.

Taste of Auckland operates like a restaurant with a lunch and dinner service, tickets are sold for each session. There’s an evening session on Thursday 16th November, and an afternoon session on Sunday 19th November. On Friday and Saturday, you can join in for an afternoon or evening session. Find out more HERE.

If you’d like to enjoy more of what Auckland has to offer outside of these session times here’s a list with a few of our favourite Auckland eateries. These are all highly recommended for their gastronomic delights, and also serve No.1 Family Estate wines!

·      Oyster and Chop - Auckland's best oyster bar and steak house.

·      Bracu – Fine dining restaurant.

·      Little Jimmy – Bar and eatery perfect for morning, noon and night!

It's a Hat trick - a Gold for No.1 Reserve!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on November 02, 2017

We’re delighted to announce that our run of Gold Medals continued this week, as No.1 Reserve was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2017 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the premier wine competition in New Zealand recognising excellence in winemaking, and in 2017 over 1300 wines were judged by a team of local and international judges.

This prestigious medal for No.1 Reserve, follows two other recent Gold Medals:

  • No 1 Rosé was recently awarded a gold medal in the The Six Nations Wine Challenge.
  • No. 1 Family Estate Cuvée Virginie 2009 was awarded a Gold Medal at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards.

Each year, a limited amount of No. 1 is set aside for long-term aging on lees and released after several years as a “Reserve”.

No. 1 is 100% chardonnay (blanc de blancs), a style for which our winemaker has consistently been awarded gold medals and trophies during his career.

This release from the family’s winery was held on lees for five and a half years allowing full autolysis displaying a consistent superfine bead, and firm mousse resulting in a typical, complex, champagne-like character, and giving it the title of “Reserve”. The palate is intensely flavoured and focused with the good fruit-yeast balance providing elegance and style. The extended lees aging has given it extra richness with complex biscuity notes, a well-balanced delicate freshness and a lengthy finish.




We ask Virgine - What makes Cuvée Virginie special?

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on October 09, 2017

At No.1 Family Estate we’re delighted to have Virginie Le Brun back on NZ soil as our Auckland Area Sales and Marketing Manager.

What could be more appropriate to welcome Virginie back than a gold medal? And that’s exactly what No 1 Family Estate Cuvée Virginie 2009 was awarded at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards very recently. With over 500 entries, just 49 gold medals for excellent quality wines (scoring 18.5 out of 20) were awarded.

It’s no secret that this wine was originally crafted especially by Daniel as a proud tribute to Virginie on her 21st birthday, and Virginie remembers that this also coincided with her first attempt at sabrage, (opening a bottle of wine with a sword), although comfortable with this show-stopper now, Virginie is the first to admit she was nervous at the time.

Virginie last poured a glass of her namesake wine, on the day she returned from the U.K. She and her partner arrived in Auckland at 5am on Father’s Day. Jet-lagged, they decided to catch a 9 a.m. flight to Marlborough to surprise Daniel for Father's Day. They were secretly picked up from the airport by Remy and dropped off near the family house, they knocked on the front door and surprised Daniel and Adele. To celebrate, a bottle of Virginie was opened!

Virginie will tell you the perfect way to enjoy her wine is on its own, enjoying the developing flavours as a glass naturally loses its chill. Pressed for a food match, Virginie says oysters are the way to go.

We asked Virginie what makes her namesake wine a winner, and this is what she said….

“In a word, balance. The time on lees makes for a fresh yet complex aroma and elegant flavours of stone fruits, and citrus. The finish is crisp and the length of finish, to me, is perfect.”

Virginie continues by saying that the current release is a stand out, hence its gold medal. “Each vintage wine has a curve, from being young through to being past its best. In my mind, the current Virginie it at the top of its particular curve; having said that, it will sit up here for a few years to come.”

When asked to answer in no more than six words to explain why you should invest in a bottle of Cuvée Virginie today, Virginie says simply… “Balance, elegance, lengthy finish, Bragato Gold.” Buy yours HERE.

3 reasons to think pink in October

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on September 18, 2017

No.1 Rosé may look beautifully frivolous with its delicate salmon-pink colour and mass of tiny bubbles. But beneath its playful exterior lies a dry, fresh and elegant wine, that leaves a lasting impression of opulence and splendour.

Spring is here! And as we start to come out of hibernation and our social calendars heat up again we thought we’d share three reasons why you should be drinking and sharing No.1 Rosé this October.

It’s good for the waistline - No.1 Rosé was recently awarded Best Rosé, by Glass of Bubbly magazine, in their quest to find the perfect low-calorie bubbly!

It’s quite at home as the star of the show – Your No.1 Rosé should never be considered as simply an aperitif. We’re the first to agree a chilled glass of bubbles is the perfect way to welcome your guests; but No.1 Rosé, just like our other Methode Traditionelle wines, is a food-pairing champion. Delicious with duck and lamb, it makes a perfect accompaniment for your main course when entertaining.

You’ll be doing your bit – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as ever, we’ll be supporting a local charity very close to our hearts, The Nelson Regional Breast and Gynaecological Cancer Trust. We’ll be donating 10% of all online and cellar door sales of No.1 Rosé to the NRBGCT, so we can help them carry on with the marvellous work they do throughout the region.

Buy Yours HERE!

There's still snow in Queenstown - And here's our recommendation for your Aprs Ski!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on September 04, 2017

Spring may have sprung but you can still hit the slopes in beautiful Queenstown! In fact, as the Queenstown NZ website says… Longer warmer days mean you can head up the mountain a bit later, and spend the afternoon skiing until last chair.

With all that exercise, we have no doubt that you’ll work up quite an appetite and we want to share one of our favourite Queenstown haunts for you to refuel after a day on the ski field… Ivy & Lola’s – Kitchen & Bar.

You’ll find Ivy & Lola’s close to Lake Wakatipu, in the Steamer Wharf building. Take an outside seat for a remarkable view of the Remarkables.

This thriving hub of hospitality serves up the sort of hearty food required to refill your energy reserves after a full-on day of fun! Like all of our favourite establishments the kitchen places great emphasis on seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced produce. Expect to sample a medley of fine New Zealand fare, from Green-lipped mussels to Cecil Peak Station’s renowned lamb.

If you’ve worked up a thirst, add some fizz to your footsteps on your way back to your hotel, you can enjoy a glass of No.1 Family Estate NV Brut Assemblé with a light bite from the afternoon menu at Ivy & Lola’s… Discover it HERE.