Yarrum Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc block on the ridge between the Brancott and Ben Morven Valleys, owned by the Sutherland Family, grower for Greywacke, Marlborough, New Zealand
Winemaker Kevin Judd registered the name Greywacke in 1993 with the intention of one day
using it on a wine label of his own. In 2009, his desire to do his own thing won out and he
decided to start Greywacke. He was met with immediate success. The name ‘Greywacke’
was a nod to the prevalence of rounded greywacke stones found in the soils of Kevin and
wife Kimberley’s first Marlborough vineyard in Raupara.
Judd didn’t particularly start out as a fan of wine itself. “As a young man interested in
chemistry and art I was fascinated with the combination of diverse elements in the wine
making process,” he said. While Judd was not a wine drinker himself, he chose to pursue a
degree in winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College in Australia. He still retained his
love for art and has developed his career as a photographer alongside his winemaking
Greywacke generally aims for riper fruit from lower-yielding vineyards, something which
Judd believes sets them apart from other winemakers in the region. “We also use a large
amount of wild fermentation,” he explains.
The Greywacke label is based primarily on Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir, with the
Sauvignon blanc being produced in two distinct styles, with a business focus is on the
restaurant trade and fine wine retail industry. “In both the on-trade and in fine wine retail you
have a greater concentration of passionate, knowledgeable individuals who recognise what
we’re trying to achieve and can more easily convey this to the end consumer,” said Judd.
Greywacke now exports to over 30 different counties, and has experienced steady growth.
“For a small team this keeps us incredibly busy,” said Judd. “We’re just about at the point
where we’ll have to ease back on finding new markets.”
Although winemaking can be the most difficult of professions, Judd enjoys the diversity it
offers, and the fact that you follow the wine through the whole cycle.
“You create a product from something that you farm, package it and send it to the market,”
he says. “Then you sit down with the people who are buying your wines, to drink and talk
with them about the wine that you have created. It's a truly unique and satisfying process.