9 Dec 2023

Raising a glass to Sauvignon Blanc: Bill Spence

From Saturday Morning, 11:45 am on 9 December 2023

Bill Spence in the 1970s Photo: supplied

The first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in New Zealand fifty years ago.  

Taking the lead from California, in the early seventies when wine was either red or white, and liqueurs and sherries were the popular tipple, brothers Bill and Ross Spence experimented with something new and different at their West Auckland vineyard.  They got about 6 litres of Sauvignon Blanc in their first batch and founded Matua wines.

Today Sauvingnon Blanc is New Zealand's top wine export.