Riverby Estate derives its name from the tranquil Opawa River, which winds through the Marlborough Region of New Zealand.

The river’s rich resources were invaluable to the local farmers as well as the source of their favourite meal; the Rainbow Trout.

In the 1930s Opawa River was diverted to stop Blenheim from flooding and the landscape was changed forever. Its redirection inadvertently transformed Riverby Estate into one of New Zealand’s finest wine growing properties.

Riverby Estate now shows no sign of the Opawa, apart from the tales of longtime resident Peter Matthews, who relays the stories of his father Ellis catching trout where the river once flowed.


Riverby Estate is ideally positioned in the very heart of Marlborough, New Zealand. Situated at Jacksons Road, Blenheim, immediately adjacent to renowned Marlborough Vineyards; Cloudy Bay, Stoneleigh and Allan Scott.

The Winemaker

Prominent Marlborough Winemaker, Dr. John Forrest, is Riverby Estate’s first Winemaker. His philosophy in making the Riverby Estate Sauvignon Blanc was ‘to let the vineyard express itself’. In the past, John has won many awards for his excellent winemaking skills.

The Wines

Riverby Estate have had two wines selected for Air New Zealand’s business class, make sure you ask for these if you are visiting during the Rugby World Cup!

The Vines

A 2.4 ha block of Riverby Estate, known as Picnic Paddock, was planted in 1990 with Sauvignon Blanc clone UGD 1 with north-south-aligned rows. The vines are trained to the Scott-Henry trellis system. Together with vine trimming and leaf plucking during the growing season, an open grapevine canopy is created with ample sunlight and wind penetration. This ensures that the fruit has the desirable Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc varietal characteristics, without too much herbaceousness. Viticulture practices are used to ensure that the yield is below 9.5 tonnes/ha, thus ensuring fruit with intense varietal flavours.

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