Paulownia Estate owners: Vaughan and Christine Paul
Prior to creating Paulownia Estate Vaughan and Christine were living and working full time in Wellington. Vaughan, a pilot in the RNZAF and working at Defence HQ and Christine was managing a rest home. Every moment of their spare time was spent preparing the property for planting.
Following those first plantings in 1998, the grapes did well and the Paul family became contract growers for local wineries. During this time they also produced small amounts of wine for their own Paulownia Estate label. But the credit crisis of 2008 altered the course of Paulownia Estate. “We could have gone on with our vineyard like this for years,” Vaughan explains, “But the change in the economic climate hit us and we were forced to re-think our original goals.”
“Essentially, our future as contract growers was uncertain and our survival was dependent on making and marketing our own Paulownia Estate wines. And, we had to ensure that the quality of our wines would stand up well against other Wairarapa vintages.”
Something a Little Different
Vaughan and Christine took the opportunity to think carefully about their products and decided to offer something a little different. “With the wine shelves swamped with good value Sauvignon Blanc, we decided that it would be difficult to market just another ‘Savvy’, so we left our 2009 Sauvignon crop on the vines for as long as we dared to produce fruit with very high sugar levels and intensely concentrated flavours. Then, with the help of Karl Johner of Johner Estate, we turned these extremely sweet berries into a rather moreish Noble Sav Blanc dessert wine, which can only be described as utterly decadent.”
High Quality Wines
Vaughan and Christine are convinced that their dessert wine is a winner and they are confident that their other wines - Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and Riesling are of the high quality the market demands. “We know we’ve got the wines right, we now get them out in the market for others to enjoy,” says Vaughan.