Devoted to Pinot Noir.
Inspired by the traditions of the old world, Don and Valerie McConachy are devoted winegrowers of the new world.
The story of Devotus is the story of a magical place cared for by truly passionate people. The people, Don and Valerie. The place, a tiny 3 hectare single vineyard site in the heart of the famed Martinborough Terrace,
New Zealand. Carved out thousands of years ago by the Ruamahanga River, which after retreating, left behind stony soils regarded as producing the finest vines.
Only 1 kilometre wide and 5 km long, the terrace is the holy land for Martinborough Pinot Noir.
The vineyard’s name, Devotus, is a reference to the devotion to Pinot Noir held by its carers Don and Valerie. It is the only variety planted and the only variety they make. Their vines are old and deep-rooted, being some of the earliest planted Pinot Noir vines in New Zealand.
Every day is about quality for the couple, they do near-everything themselves by hand or with the help of their
80 year old tractor, a testament to their belief in that caring for things rewards not just the object, but the carer in turn. The vineyard is managed completely organically and is one of the few sites in the country that cultivates widely from oats to lupin in a very burgundy-esque fashion, to increase fertility in the soil. The couple demand only the best from their non-irrigated old vines, coaxing them into growing very low yields of highly concentrated fruit. In turn each vine produces enough wine for only 1.5 bottles, a punishingly small amount that is accepted only by vignerons who know that what they are bottling is, simply put, some of the best in the world. The wines are sold each year en-primeur and sell out without fail.
'We have an obsession with wine quality. We grow only Pinot Noir, nothing else. We don’t irrigate our vines, accepting highly concentrated grapes in preference to bigger yields.' - Don McConachy
At Devotus, every part of the approach at this family owned and operated vineyard is sustainable. This is a wine centred around the land and the vines. Everything is organic (not certified), with steps taken even further including cultivation of oats, crimson clover, chicory and plantain, which are then ploughed back into the soil to provide natural nutrients and increased fertility. Any weeds are taken care of mechanically, without using sprays or pesticides.
The dry-farming of these vines means accepting lower yields, yet with immense concentration of the fruit. The vinification process is performed with a non-interventionist mindset, working with wild yeasts, with no or low sulphur additions, and with no fining or filtering. The mindset during vinification is to produce Pinot Noir that is a pure expression of the vintage, of the Martinborough Terrace, and particularly of the vineyard.