Allan Scott is a name synonymous with wine in Marlborough. As one of the first independent wineries to establish themselves here back in 1990, Allan Scott Family Winemakers have made a name for themselves in this highly competitive industry.
Allan has nearly 40 years in the wine business, which makes him one of the most experienced people in Marlborough when it comes to growing, making and marketing wine. When Allan and his wife Catherine decided to settle here in 1973, (Cathy is a fifth generation Marlburian) Allan took a job with Montana working in their new vineyards. In 1980 he was head-hunted by Corbans to oversee the establishment of their Marlborough vineyards. He soon became their Senior Viticultural Manager, which not only gave him responsibility for the company's entire national grape intake, but led him to become part of the winemaking team.
All this stood him in good stead for the family’s foray into winemaking. Back then, there weren’t any boutique wineries to speak of in Marlborough. In 1975 Allan and Catherine purchased a block of land and got into contract growing. Then, when the first independent winemakers started to emerge in Marlborough, Allan and Catherine were in a position to become a part of this new era in New Zealand’s wine industry. In 1990, they launched Allan Scott Wines. Allan remembers it well. “We were one of a small number who made up the first wave of the independents.” The Allan Scott winery has seen some changes since then. Over the 20 years since its inception, the winery has evolved to keep ahead of the changing demands from the market.
Perhaps the biggest change for the business has been its evolution into a true family business. Allan and Cathy’s three children have grown up to become valuable members of the business.
Elder daughter Victoria is responsible for Marketing, while their son Josh is Chief winemaker, taking responsibility for the variety of wines the winery produces. Younger daughter Sara has also trained as a winemaker, but works mostly in the vineyard. She has followed her father’s specialty as a viticulturalist and, according to Allan, has an almost instinctual approach to the industry.
Along with the core range of Allan Scott Estate wines, there is a single vineyard selection of prestige wines, which uses the best grapes and careful cellaring to produce a limited volume of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir, with names like Hounds and Wallops to decpict their origin. In 1999 the winery also released a Methode Traditionnelle range, which now includes five bubbles all of which are produced on site and the most recent addition to the family holdings is their Scott Base Vineyard in Central Otago.