Framingham

There can't be that many winemakers who were born in Gateshead in the north-east of England but one such is Dr Andrew Hedley. Armed with a PhD in applied chemistry earned in 1993 Andrew and his wife Debra took the plunge and moved to New Zealand with the intention of Andrew working in the wine industry.

He succeeded, and since 1998 has been making wine, with the majority being crafted at Framingham. In 2006 was diagnosed with throat cancer but overcame it and was soon back at work crafting top-class wines with renewed enthusiasm.

The riesling vines at Framingham are among the oldest in Marlborough having been planted in 1981, and their fruit made the first wine made by the estate in 1994. Established by Rex Brooke-Taylor and named for his ancestral home in Norfolk, England, the first winery was built in 1997, followed in 2002 by a custom-built winemaking facility for reds.

Now owned by Portuguese company Sogrape the estate makes a range of wines from several varieties, all grown on the well-drained alluvial soils of the Wairau Valley where there is a low frost risk and low rainfall. Yields are carefully controlled and Framingham is now farmed organically. The aim is to find balance in the wines and the environment in which they are made.

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