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 Foxes Island Wines 25 Years  

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15c Williamson Avenue Ponsonby, Auckland 1021

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HISTORY

JOHN BELSHAM FOUNDED FOXES ISLAND IN 1992 TO FOCUS ON EXQUISITELY MADE, REGIONALLY EXPRESSIVE WINES; EXACTLY WHAT HE HAD LEARNED TO DO IN FRANCE. HE INITIALLY MADE THE WINES FOR FOXES ISLAND FROM HIS RAPAURA VINEYARD ON THE WAIRAU PLAINS AND PRODUCED THE VERY FIRST FOXES ISLAND WINE: CHARDONNAY, VINTAGE 1992.

IN SEARCH OF A PINOT NOIR SITE, BELSHAM IDENTIFIED THE OVERGROWN AND NEGLECTED 20 HECTARE AWATERE PROPERTY IN 1998 AND ENVISAGED THE BELSHAM AWATERE ESTATE. WITH SEVEN DISTINCT TERRACES AND EXCEPTIONAL SOIL PROFILES, THE LAND WAS PLANTED PRIMARILY TO PINOT NOIR ALONG WITH SELECT BLOCKS DEDICATED TO CHARDONNAY, SAUVIGNON BLANC AND RIESLING.

24 YEARS ON, BELSHAM’S PASSION FOR PRODUCING EXCEPTIONAL WINES HAS YET TO WANE; LIMITED IN PRODUCTION AND GENUINELY HAND CRAFTED, ALL THE WINES HOLD PRIDE OF PLACE AT THE FOX HOUSE.

FLOODING & THE FIRST FOX – SIR WILLIAM

PRIOR TO THE LATE 1800’S THE WAIRAU AND OPAWA RIVERS WOULD OCCASIONALLY FLOOD THE WAIRAU PLAINS OF MARLBOROUGH. FORTUNATELY AN ISLAND AREA CONSISTENTLY STOOD ABOVE THE RAGING FLOOD WATERS, PROVIDING EXPLORERS, HERDSMAN AND TRAVELERS A DRY RESPITE.

            THE GREAT BLENHEIM FLOOD 1923  THE WAIRAU RIVER GOING OUT TO SEA - COOK STRAIT

THE INFAMOUS SIR WILLIAM FOX, A CONTROVERSIAL POLITICIAN, WRITER AND EXPLORER REGULARLY PASSED OVER THE ISLAND TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE NATIVE MAORI PEOPLE AND IS FROM WHENCE FOXES ISLAND WINERY DERIVES ITS NAME.

IN 1872 AFTER A VISIT & BY THEN PRIME MINISTER SIR WILLIAM FOX, GAVE HIS NAME TO FOX GLACIER LOCATED IN THE SOUTHERN ALPES ON THE WEST COAST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND.

  PRIME MINISTER & EXPLORER SIR WILLIAM FOX NEW ZEALAND  FOX GLACIER   THE FOX BOY BY PETER WALKER 

 

IN 1869 SIR WILLIAM FOX AND HIS WIFE SARAH ADOPTED A YOUNG MAORI BOY ORPHANED FROM BATTLE. HE WAS CHRISTENED WILLIAM FOX JUNIOR WHOSE STORY WAS LATER PENNED BY PETER WALKER IN THE FOX BOY, THE STORY OF AN ABDUCTED CHILD.

IN HIS ADULT LIFE, FOX JUNIOR EMBRACED HIS MAORI ROOTS THRU TEACHING AND LAW AND REMEMBERED SARAH FOX WITH GREAT AFFECTION.LIKE THE YOUNG MAORI BOY, THE FOX BY JOHN BELSHAM WINES REPRESENT ANOTHER DISTINGUISHED CHAPTER IN THE FOXES ISLAND LEGACY.