Dog Point Vineyard own & operate the largest organic Biogro certified vineyard in New Zealand.
Since 2009, Dog Point began organic conversion in the vineyards. One of the initiatives we carry out as part of our organic regime is the turning of vine pruning’s and winery waste into mulch to create a healthy organic compost for use on plantings throughout the property. We also collect leachate from this process and apply it to the vineyards as fertiliser to help conserve moisture and improve the soil structure.
In spring, we plant cover crops such as buckwheat and phacelia between the vines to encourage beneficial insects for biological control of insect pests. Over the winter months, 2500 sheep and 25 steers are brought onto the property to control grass and weed growth and assist in adding organic matter to the soil.
It is an authentic working farm property with organic philosophies at the centre, with the focus on producing premium quality wine utilising environmentally friendly and responsible practices.
Dog Point is one of the oldest privately established vineyards in Marlborough with first plantings in the late 1970s. The vineyard is centrally located at the confluence of the smaller brancott and omaka valleys. This location is widely considered to be a very desirable area for grape growing in the southern valleys of Marlborough.
The property is sensitively planted to sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir. Older well-established vines are situated on free draining silty clay loams. This is supplemented with more recent plantings on closely planted hillside blocks on soils with a clay loam influence.
Viticulture & Soils
Marlborough is blessed with one of the sunniest and driest climates in New Zealand. The significant diurnal temperature range between cool nights and sunny days allows ideal conditions for the long slow ripening of grapes.
Soils are crucial to the character of our wine. Most soils have been laid down within the last 14,000 years carved and eroded by glaciers in the high country and carried down to the coast by melt-water rivers.
Meticulous vineyard practices include low cropping grapes and hand harvested vines. Organic practices further minimise the impact on the soil and surrounding environment.
Ivan and Margaret Sutherland were among the earliest Marlborough wine industry pioneers who planted grapes in Marlborough in the late 1970s. While working at Cloudy Bay Vineyards, Ivan met James Healy, where the pair played an integral part of the evolution of the Cloudy Bay brand.
Discovering they shared the same aspirations, Ivan & Margaret and James & Wendy returned to a more 'hands-on' approach launching the Dog Point label in 2004 using fruit from the 2002 vintage. Today, the two couples are actively involved in all facets of the business. Succession plans are in place with the next generation of the Sutherland family involved in running the day to day operations.
The Name: DOG POINT
The name Dog Point dates back to the earliest European settlement of Marlborough and the introduction of sheep to the district. These were the days where, due to a lack of fences, boundary riders used boundary keeping dogs to protect the local flocks of sheep.
Shepherd's dogs sometimes became lost or wandered off, eventually breeding to form a marauding pack that attacked the same flocks they were meant to be protecting. Over time the settlers were able to remove these wild dogs and the area was named Dog Point. There is now a friendly "pack of dogs" that greet guests at the vineyard.
A key part of our organic philosophy is biodiversity on the Dog Point property. A large area of land is devoted to pasture, landscaped lawn and pond spaces with extensive native plantings and walkways. There are extensive vegetable gardens and orchards with bee hives. Olive trees and pine nut trees have been planted alongside natives, which have attracted native birdlife.
In 2017 Dog Point Vineyard won the supreme award at the 2017 Cawthron Marlborough Environment awards demonstrating a working vineyard with biodiversity.
TI KOUKA - CABBAGE TREE
Dog Point is home to one of New Zealand’s cultural and ecological treasures, the 'Ti Kouka'. Commonly known as the cabbage tree, Ti Kouka is an attractive, distinctive and hardy native New Zealand plant.
The Ti Kouka is an endearing feature of the Dog Point landscape and like our wines it is a natural expression of the land on which it exists. The Ti Kouka epitomises Dog Point Vineyard’s landscape and Dog Point wines, and features on the Dog Point logo and label.