The history of the company in New Zealand goes back to the early 1940's when the Nobilo family landed in New Zealand. They settled in Huapai, West Auckland, situated in the North Island of New Zealand, and started planting vines in 1943. The Nobilo family effectively persuaded and guided the New Zealand wine industry away from hybrid grape varieties and fortified wines, to a higher level of quality wine, now recognised and appraised by all markets.
With the passage of time, the early 1970's ushered in a whole new awareness of grape growing for quality wine production in New Zealand. The search was on for more suitable vineyard sites away from Auckland. This coincided with the move away from the consumption of fortified wine, and the emerging love affair of consumers in the 1980's with the classic varieties of the world.
Key House of Nobilo brands, namely White Cloud, Fernleaf, Fall Harvest, Regional Collection and Icon, have always been market leaders with style initiative and packaging innovation, winning local and international intrinsic and packaging awards each year.In September 1998, Nobilo Vintners, then a family company with four generations of wine proficiency, purchased another successful New Zealand winery at the time, the thriving Selaks operation, to form a strong wine association
The Selak family, another early pioneering family from Croatia, came to New Zealand in the early 1900s, also bringing with them many years of wine experience. They bottled their first wine in 1934. Today the Selaks brands Premium Selection and Founders Reserve boast an enviable reputation both in New Zealand and overseas.
In mid-2000, Australia's second largest wine producer, BRL Hardy, purchased Nobilo Vintners, which later merged with Constellation Brands Inc. in 2003. The resultant global wine company, Constellation Wines, now incorporates the parent company's wine interests in the USA, Australia, UK/Europe, South America and New Zealand. Nobilo Wine Group enjoys ownership and partnership of many diverse sites within the key wine-growing regions of New Zealand, namely Marlborough to the north of the South Island, and Hawkes Bay and Gisborne, on the eastern coasts of the North Island.
Drylands Vineyard is situated near the middle of the Wairau Valley Region and surrounds the Drylands Winery in Hammerichs Road, Blenheim. It has some of the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines, going back to 1980. This vineyard produces intensely herbal and some sweaty characters. Fruit from this vineyard shows traditional, typical Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc characters.
Situated in the Wairau Valley region, Rarangi Vineyard is by the coastal settlement of Rarangi and is planted on gravel swales (undulating terrain that was ancient beach fronts) with underlying sandy lenses. As the sea has retreated it has left behind gravels, which have been thinly covered in fine, wind blown and organic material. This vineyard is a very low vigour site because the soils are very free draining beach gravels. Sauvignon Blanc from this site shows ripe, tropical fruit flavours with sweaty characteristics and provides balance to traditional Marlborough blends. Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are still in establishment phase but aim to reach Icon labels.
The Castle Cliffs Vineyard is a 100ha block, situated on three terraces on north bank of the Awatere River, to the south of Blenheim in Marlborough. The altitude is 40m above sea level. Spring 2002 planting's comprised 20ha Pinot Noir, and 80ha Sauvignon Blanc. It consists of Pinot Heights, Middle Terrace and River Terrace.
Moteo vineyard is based at the settlement of Moteo, which is 30km west of the city of Napier. Moteo vineyard is a 38ha vineyard consisting of three varieties. Moteo was mainly planted in 1992 to Sauvignon Blanc, Muller Thurgau and Chenin Blanc.
Corner 50 Vineyard is situated 25km south-west of the city of Hastings, and is 105ha in total, all of which was planted in 2002. This was done in two stages, with 45ha planted to potted Merlot vines and the remainder planted with bare-rooted cuttings. The vineyard is planted predominately to Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Known as the Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand, Gisborne is located on the central eastern coast of the North Island. It is the third largest wine growing region, and is also the first place in the world to see in the sun every morning! Gisborne currently provides Nobilo with the majority of the North Island Chardonnay, sourced from different sites throughout the region, from the golden slopes through to Patahai. Different clones from the differing sites provide an exceptional range in flavours and quality.