No.1 News and Updates

Pucker up with No.1 Family Estate.

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on August 15, 2017

Occasionally, we all have disagreements with our loved ones. It might be a squabble with a sibling, a set to with your partner, a blowup with your bestie or quarrel with your parents; whatever controversy has spurred the spat, sometimes it’s important not to hold a grudge but just to kiss and make up instead. In fact, it’s so important to forgive and move on, there’s a whole day dedicated to it. 25th August is officially kiss and make up day!

At No.1 Family Estate we believe that’s a day worth celebrating! So, we thought we’d share our three favourite ways to build bridges and heal hearts.

Sorry shouldn’t be the hardest word -  Sometimes all it takes to mend the matter is that one simple word. As American author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. once said, “Never forget the nine most important words of any family- I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me.”

A hug heals – Who doesn’t enjoy the warm fuzzies that a big bear hug brings? A wise person once said… “A hug is like a boomerang - you get it back right away.”

A perfect peace offering – Reaching out with a gift of good grace is often a way to mend differences. We’d suggest a gift you can enjoy together… A bottle of bubbles is a great way to toast to renewed friendship… Then kiss and make up!

Buy yours HERE.


What your Dad really wants for Father's Day!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on August 11, 2017

Father’s Day is just around the corner, (Sunday 3rd September), but forget socks this year, we’ve got a gift that your Dad will really savour… And if you’re lucky he might just share!

The Gentleman’s Case has been newly released for Father’s Day. This Limited-Edition mixed case has two bottles each of No. 1 Cuvée, No. 1 Reserve and 70 Calibre.

  • No. 1 Cuvée is not only the first wine produced by No. 1 Family Estate, it’s also one of New Zealands most highly regarded Methode Traditionelle wines.
  • 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”. 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.
  • 70 Caliber is a wine to celebrate our founder and winemaker Daniel Le Brun on the occasion of his 70th birthday and 35th year pioneering Methode Traditionelle in Marlborough.

This mixed case is available exclusively through our cellar door and online store.

Plus, we have a little extra gift that you could win when you order The Gentleman’s Case. Any purchases made between now and the end of August will go into a draw to win a special No.1 Family Estate bubbles bundle… A No.1 Family Estate branded ice bucket, stopper, pair of glasses and paper napkins!

Order your Limited-Edition Gentleman’s Case HERE.

In the deep mid-winter - How about a No.1 night at the movies?

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on July 25, 2017

At No.1 Family Estate we love a good movie, and you will often find some of the team here, heading off to the Top Town Cinema in Blenheim. But in the depths of winter we can’t always bring ourselves to tear ourselves away from the comfort of the sofa and a roaring fire, so we’ll indulge in a movie night at home.

If you’d like to join us, here’s how to hold your own No.1 movie night…

  • Casablanca paired with a bottle of No. 1 Cuvée. A classic movie deserves a classic wine, and No. 1 Cuvée is not only the first wine produced by No. 1 Family Estate, it’s also one of New Zealands most highly regarded Methode Traditionelle wines.
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s paired with a bottle of No 1 Rosé. Whilst it’s true that Breakfast at Tiffany’s is another classic movie, it was also a trail blazing chick flick! No.1 Rose is dry, yet fresh and elegant, leaving a lasting impression of opulence and splendour. Much like Audrey’s style and grace as a film and fashion icon.
  • The Philadelphia Story paired with a bottle of No.1 Reserve. Another classic, this 1940 movie was remade in 1956 as High Society. 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”, so you could also call it a remake of a classic in its own right!
  • Lost in Translation paired with No. 1 Assemblé. You could categorise this iconic Sofia Coppola movie as a romantic comedy, but it’s way deeper than your average romcom and was ahead of its time in terms of cinematography and nuanced storytelling, that’s why it’s a perfect match for No. 1 Assemblé often characterized for its sophistication and intense flavours.
  • True Grit paired with 70 Calibre. Yep, we know we’re suckers for classic movies, but this western is also a front-runner in the action movie genre, so it seems an appropriate match for Daniel’s pioneering spirit and the wine that was made to celebrate his 70th birthday. 


So now all you need to do is download your movie and find your wine… Buy yours HERE. Happy viewing!

A tri-nations summer

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on July 13, 2017

This month Virginie was delighted to represent No.1 Family estate at a Tri-Nations dinner held at Michelin starred U.K. restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

Roger Jones, Australian wine expert and owner of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, launched the Tri Nations Wine Challenges as a concept to highlight the quality of premium wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, matched with Michelin star food.

At this month's dinner, in a battle of great sparkling wines, Cuvée Virginie (09) went head-to-head with an Arras Grand Vintage (08) from Tasmania. Both were paired with Ceviche of Sea Bass and Sea Bream, with Thai Flavours and Yuzu. We're thrilled to say that Cuvée Virginie was the winner of its round at the dinner.

The excitement of a tri-nations dinner made us think about other ways to bring three nations together in a wonderful food and wine experience.

The U.K., France and New Zealand – A match made in heaven…

As summer is in full swing in the U.K. we want you to enjoy our French heritage and our New Zealand home… Here are three ways to enjoy No.1 wines in the U.K. this summer.

Picnic in the park – Whether it’s an organized event or casual weekend get together, a picnic in the park is quintessentially British. Pack traditional favourites like Scotch Eggs, sharp cheddar cheese and hand carved ham. Add a bottle of No. 1 Assemblé, you’ll find it fresh and inviting with sophisticated and typical characters and intense flavours.

Fish & Chips – There’s nothing better on a warm evening than a stroll along the coastline, followed by fish and chips fresh from the wrapping. Sit on the beach, enjoy the view and to add a little elegance to the evening, enjoy a bottle of No. 1 Cuvée, one of New Zealand's most highly regarded Méthode Traditionelle wines.

A long lunch – Long summer weekends are perfect for sharing time with friends and family, so why not host a long lunch, and serve bubbles with every course?
To Start: Gravadlax of Salmon served with No.1 Assemblé
Main Course: Confit duck with red cabbage and chestnuts. Add a salad of endive, pear, blue cheese and toasted pecans, serve with No.1 Rosé
To Finish: Lemon Posset served with No.1 Cuveé
Bon appétit!

Order your wines from  Amathus in the U.K. and start your tri-nations summer!


4 things to do mid-winter in Wellington

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on June 21, 2017

Everybody knows that Wellington is fabulous on a summer’s day, and just for the record, we think it’s pretty spectacular in the winter too! But if you don’t have a mind to brave windy Wellington we’ve come up with four ways to spend a perfect midwinter's day in the capital while staying safely inside!

  • Shop ‘til you drop – As the Absolutely Positively Wellington website says “From boutiques stocking local and international designers, to quirky gift stores, Wellington is a treasure trove of beautiful things. Street markets, antique, vintage and second-hand stores hold one-of-a-kind creations to uncover."
  • Learn more - Visit Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum, renowned for being bicultural, scholarly, innovative, and fun. If you’re a rugby fan then a must see exhibition is “Rugby Legends: The Spirit of the Black Jersey” on now until 15th October 2017.
  • Take a late lunch – We love Ortega Fish Shack Bar (open from 5:30 p.m.), where you can enjoy a glass of No.1 Rosé served alongside wonderful food and fabulous service. Or Noble Rot (open from 4:00 p.m.) for delicious Oysters!
  • Head to Winetopia - The Greatest Celebration of New Zealand Wine is in Wellington on 14th and 15th July 2017 at Shed 6. You’ll find Remy there, showcasing No.1 Family Estate wines and he’d love to see you! Find out more HERE.


Three Wine Men - Let's Get Fizzical and Decanter - The Great Sparkling Exploration

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on June 01, 2017

For those of you in London or the UK, we want to tell you about two simply sparkling events coming up where you’ll be able to enjoy a taste (or two) of No.1 Family Estate Wines.

Head along to either and catch up with Virginie Le Brun, who will be there representing our family.

7th June - Three Wine Men – Let’s Get Fizzical - East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf

What’s tasting?

  • No. 1 Assemblé  - Fresh and inviting with sophisticated and typical characters and intense flavours.
  • No. 1 Cuvée  - One of New Zealand's most highly regarded Méthode Traditionelle wines.
  • No. 1 Rosé - Dry, yet fresh and elegant, this wine leaves a lasting impression of opulence and splendour. Recently awarded Best Rosé, by Glass of Bubbly magazine, in their quest to find the perfect low calorie bubbly!
  • Cuvée Virginie - A vintage Méthode Traditionelle, and Virginie’s namesake, created to honour her 21st birthday.


Plus Virginie will be co-hosting a Fizziology 2017 Masterclass

Find out more on the event website.




8th June – Decanter – The Great Sparkling Exploration - Great Smith Street Westminster

What’s tasting?

All of the above wines, PLUS…

  • No. 1 Reserve - Intensely flavoured and focused with a good fruit-yeast balance providing elegance and style.


And drum roll please…

  • A pre-release of the 2013 Cuvée Adele - A limited edition vintage cuvée crafted especially by Daniel as a proud tribute to his wife Adele.


Find out more on the Decanter website.

Both events are open to trade and the general public, but note that the consumer tasting at the Decanter event begins at 17:30.

The Devil's Wine

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on May 16, 2017

The production of sparkling wine was a haphazard affair until the late 1800s when the role of yeast in the fermentation process was fully understood, and the process of a second fermentation could be controlled by quantifying the amount of sugar added to the bottled wine.

Around the same time, a series of sophisticated developments were in place that  propelled the production of sparkling wine into the industrialised process that we know as Méthode Traditionelle:

  • Liqueur de tirage (the addition of a measured quantity of sugar and yeast at the time of bottling to promote second fermentation);
  • Disgorgement (removing the sediment from the bottle after the completion of secondary fermentation);
  • Liqueur d’expedition (added after disgorgement to balance the wine). 


Méthode Traditionelle is a process that has remained fundamentally unchanged to this day and it is one that our family, the Le Bruns, has been perfecting for 12 generations in France, and more recently in New Zealand.

Armed with new knowledge and understanding of the wine making process, winemakers in the 17th century began to produce sparkling wines with precision and consistency, although it could still be a hazardous, and wasteful, process. Bottles under pressure from the fermentation process could spontaneously explode and cellar workers had to wear heavy iron masks to prevent injury. It was not uncommon for cellars to lose 20–90% of their bottles to instability because the disturbance caused by one exploding bottle could cause a chain reaction. The mystique of the exploding bottles led some critics to call the sparkling creations "The Devil's Wine”.

How times have changed…

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things in the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection.”

Ernest Hemingway

The early sparkling winemaking process was sufficient for the annual production of 600 000 bottles but when the first machines appeared in the 1840s that accurately dispensed the liqueur de tirage, annual production exploded to 6 million bottles. By the end of the 1880s when the disgorgement process became faster and easier, to 30 million bottles.  Today annual production of sparkling wine worldwide is over 2 billion bottles.

Do you agree with Ernest Hemingway? Buy your wine HERE.


It's Mother's Day!

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on May 02, 2017

Sunday May 14th is Mother’s Day, the day where we aim to delight and surprise the family member who is always there to hold your hand!

This year you may be celebrating with your actual Mum, or perhaps your Nana, your sister, your wife or partner, or a friend that you think is doing a great job cherishing and nurturing their family.

Here are 3 ways to celebrate Mother’s Day:

  • With family – Sounds obvious… But we’re not just talking about the kids. Let the generations unite by gathering grandparents, aunts, uncles, mums (of course), dads, nieces, nephews, sons and daughters! The more the merrier. Don’t forget to add bountiful bubbles, and if you have a crowd of hungry and thirsty family, contact us to purchase a Magnum of something special or a mixed case.
  • With food – Plan a breakfast feast, light lunch, afternoon tea or decadent dinner. Just make sure that Mum doesn’t lift a finger. Add some sparkle to the occasion with a glass of No. 1 Cuvée.
  • With friends – Sadly not everybody looks forward to Mother’s Day. So find time to gather your friends who may not have someone around that they call Mum, or may have never been called Mum themselves.


If you’re in Marlborough, our cellar door is open from 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Mother’s Day and we’d love to see you!

A Happy Accident

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on April 20, 2017

You may find it hard to believe, but there was a time when bubbles in wine were seen as a fault in the winemaking process and the sign of an inferior product, rather than the result of the skills of a master craftsman like our own Daniel Le Brun.

Bubbles have been observed in wine since biblical times, but until fermentation was understood, there were no explanations for this ‘aberration’ except to blame the moon or the spirits, both good and bad.

The most common (and plausible) reason is, in fact, a 17th century distribution issue. In England during the 17th century, when a young playwright called William Shakespeare was attracting rowdy crowds of revellers to his new plays, the wine they drank was transported from Champagne in wooden barrels and bottled by local merchants when it arrived in England.

In Champagne, the cold winters would undoubtedly have halted the fermentation process prematurely, leaving residual sugar and dormant yeast in the wine. After shipping to England, fermentation would start again when the wine was bottled and stored in the warmth of the English taverns. When the bottles were opened as if by magic (or sorcery), the wine would be bubbly.

A significant step forward was made in 1662 when the English scientist Christopher Merret presented a paper detailing how the presence of sugar in wine led to it to become fizzy, and that by adding sugar before bottling nearly any wine could be made to sparkle. Merret was describing, for the first time, the process of secondary fermentation.

So while you may have heard the delightful story of Dom Pérignon – the blind monk who accidentally made sparkling wine and cried, “Come quickly! I am drinking the stars!”, there is no evidence that it is true. It is more likely that Dom Pérignon spent most of his time trying to get rid of the bubbles that appeared naturally and by chance in his wine as they caused havoc in the cellar, the pressure inside the bottles causing many to explode.

As the popularity of sparkling wine began to grow, the problem for winemakers was to learn how to control the natural process of secondary fermentation and make it consistent. From the insights described by Merret to a truly commercial scale process, took almost 200 years and several sophisticated innovations that are what we now know as Méthode Traditionelle.

At No.1 Family Estate, all our wines are made in the Méthode Traditionelle way that was accidentally discovered all those years ago. Purchase yours here... You may still believe you are drinking the stars.

How to have a No1 Autumn

Posted by No 1 Family Estate on April 04, 2017

What a stunning autumn we are having here in Marlborough! The colours are gorgeous, and don’t give up on your déjeuner à l'extérieur just yet, because the warm weather often continues well into April.

Sadly, too many people say goodbye to bubbles once the summer season bids us farewell, but you don’t need to save the fizz for winter festivities, you should continue to enjoy it tous les jours!
Here are three ways to enjoy bubbles in Autumn…
At our house:

Visit our elegant cellar door, browse our carefully selected collection of jewellery and gifts, and enjoy a complimentary tasting of our wines.

Our cellar door is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., during the week, and from 11:00 a.m. at the weekends. 

We would love to welcome you and share the story of our family and our award winning wines.

At your house:

Autumn is a great time to entertain. Why not celebrate the beauty of the season and the bountiful harvest produce? If the weather’s good, consider a sparkling brunch outside. As the temperatures change its time to embrace the Sunday roast, choose lamb and pair it with No.1 Rosé. As the evenings cool don’t disappear inside, it’s the perfect time to gather around the brazier with friends, family and a bottle of bubbles.

Out & About:

There’s still plenty of sunshine to warrant packing a picnic lunch and heading into the great outdoors. Why not add some French flair to your hamper, include fresh bread, creamy cheeses, pâté de campagnes and of course, a chilled bottle of No.1 Cuvee.

If you’re in Marlborough it’s almost time for the annual Bayleys Fashion in the Field Car Boot Picnic at Waterlea Racecourse, so dig out the family silver and set up in style… Don’t forget the bubbles!

Order your Autumn wine HERE.