An enduring love for the land combined with a belief in ethical farming and a passion for winemaking has drawn two of New Zealand’s most successful wine entrepreneurs back to the industry.
Loveblock is the new brand that realises the vision and passion Erica and Kim have to create great New Zealand wine that best reflects the terroir on which the grapes are grown while minimising chemical input.
The couple’s previous label was New Zealand’s most successful wine marketing business, sold to Canadian beverage company Vincor in 2003. That label owned no land, preferring to source its grapes from contract growers.
After some time in the wilderness, Erica has found her Loveblock, a treasured and formidable landscape comprising 85 hectares perched atop the hills overlooking Marlborough’s Awatere Valley.
In a journey that began in 2004, here the duo has planted several grape varietals, farming organically, true to their deeply held belief of ethical farming and land care which enables the wine to reflect its naked or true terroir.
Loveblock wines are now coming to market and have already caught the eye of Terlato Wines International, a leading distributor of international fine wines in the United States which has signed a long-term partnership to market the brand in North America. In New Zealand, Loveblock is sold online direct to consumers.
Rhythm of the Land
The quiet yet immoveable and timeless rhythm of the land is integral to the fruits of Loveblock.
“The adage ‘your biggest strength is also your biggest weakness’ rings so true for many a wine producer,” Erica says, “but it has never been truer than for Loveblock.”
It was love at first sight when Erica first viewed Loveblock’s remote and wild terrain and elevated position overlooking the Awatere Valley.
“I immediately knew this was the place where I could put down my roots, look at the land holistically, restore balance and create a self-sustaining perma-culture environment while making jolly good wine. This is my Loveblock and my journey, the love affair with land had begun.”
Erica’s philosophy is that the land belongs to the future. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it for only a little while. And so organic farming was a logical step to achieving her vision to provide for the longevity of the land using purely biodynamic principles.
“It’s a philosophy that demands submission to the rhythm of the land and requires total cooperation with nature to maintain soil fertility,” she says.
Kim too is rising to the challenge of the land.
“As a winemaker, my aim is to deliver to you in the bottle what the grapevine produces. It is not up to me to be so presumptuous as to interpret what the soil says is right,” he says.
“Stylistically we are not making wines to a recipe. We are making wines we ourselves want to drink – we look closely at the fruit and see what it is telling us and we keep to that style.”
Loveblock has been forged from a love of the land and a challenge to chase the impossible sites, the improbable blends, the exquisite flavours.
“We plant vines in impossible places, make wine that needs to age for years while tying up cash flow,” Erica says. “We may be an accountant’s worst nightmare but we are driven by passion. And dreams,” she adds.
The first Loveblock wines to be released are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer, all from the Loveblock Marlborough vineyard, and Central Otago Pinot Noir. Other varietals planted are Pinot Blanc, Moscato, Saint Laurent, Chenin Blanc, Tempranillo and Arneis.
Founded by Erica and Kim, Loveblock was forged from a love affair with a view and a challenge. Perched high on the hills overlooking Marlborough's Awatere Valley, Loveblock is far removed from the agricultural bustle in the valley below. At Loveblock, we are charged with creating the best wine we can to express this extraordinary place and its unique aspect. We follow our deeply held belief in ethical farming which enables the wine to show its true and naked terroir. Loveblock wines are available in five varietals direct to consumers. Our wines are distributed in the United States by Terlato Wines.