Cloudy Bay Vineyards

Cloudy Bay Vineyards is a winery based in the Marlborough wine region of New Zealand, which also owns vineyards in Central Otago. Owned by Champagne house Veuve Clicquot, it was first established in 1985 by David Hohnen, and it is one of the first five wineries to be founded in Marlborough.

Cloudy Bay
LocationNew Zealand
Wine regionMarlborough
Founded1985 (1985)
Key peopleDavid Hohnen
Known for
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Te Koko
  • Pelorus
VarietalsPinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
TastingOpen to the public


Cloudy Bay winery was established in 1985 by David Hohnen, the founder of Margaret River winery Cape Mentelle Vineyards. The winery was named after Cloudy Bay, a body of water explorer Captain James Cook came across during his voyage to New Zealand in 1770. His discovery coincided with flooding in the region, which washed large amounts of sediment into the sea. Noticing the water’s opaque appearance, Cook cleverly christened the area Cloudy Bay.

Over the years, Cloudy Bay has added several new wines to its collection, building on its reputation for excellence. Sauvignon Blanc was the first wine to be produced and represents the main part of the production today. Then the winery came out with its first Chardonnay, which was followed eight years later by its first vintage of Pinot Noir.

In 2000, Cloudy Bay’s winemaking team introduced Te Koko, a new, complex and full-bodied Sauvignon blanc. Te Koko broke the winemaking rules to create a new style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc made through wild fermentation and aging in old French oak.

In 2003 Cloudy Bay Vineyards was bought by the multinational luxury goods firm LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton through its champagne house Veuve Clicquot.

In 2010, Cloudy Bay introduced its new Te Wahi Pinot Noir, marking its expansion outside of Marlborough. The grapes used to make Te Wahi are grown in New Zealand’s rugged Central Otago region.

In 2013 and 2014, Cloudy Bay acquired its own vineyards located in the best terroir of the region - Calvert and Northburn vineyards.

In 2012, “The Shack”, a guest house for VIP was inaugurated. This is an architectural project inspired from the traditional “bach”, New Zealand’s typical holiday home. Before “The Shack”, there had been an old building, which burned down. From the ashes, was born the idea of rebuilding a new cabin in a more contemporary style, which would anchor Cloudy Bay in the present and the future, while keeping alive the history of the domain. [1]

There is also a spacious and inviting cellar door open to the public and located at the winery itself, in the heart of the Marlborough wine region.


Cloudy Bay is set across seven vineyards in Marlborough’s picturesque Wairau Valley, located in the northern tip of the South Island. Situated between the sharp peaks of the Richmond Ranges and the sloping ridges of the Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay is naturally protected from extreme weather conditions. The region is the sunniest in New Zealand, while the climate is cool and dry. The stony soil is free-draining - ideal for grape growing.

Located at the south end of New Zealand’s South Island, the Central Otago region is the world’s southernmost grape growing region and is characterized by its semi-continental and extreme weather conditions.

Wines produced

The winery is primarily noted for its Sauvignon Blanc wine and has played an important pioneering role in establishing New Zealand's and Marlborough's reputation. It was one of the first New Zealand wines to be widely exported and came to attention because of its fruit-forward style and very pronounced varietal character.

  • Sauvignon Blanc - An explosion of ripe lime and nectarine fruit with tropical accents and the freshness of sweet garden herbs.
  • Chardonnay - Fresh aromas of white flowers, preserved lemon, stone fruit, roasted nuts and complex savory undertones.
  • Pinot Noir - Highly aromatic with red and dark berry notes, spice, florals and a savory smokiness.
  • Cloudy Bay Te Koko (100% Sauvignon Blanc) - Complex and intensely aromatic showing notes of ripe nectarine, grapefruit, tropical fruits, white florals. lemon thyme and ginger.
  • Cloudy Bay Te Wahi (100% Pinot Noir) - Strong red cherry and dark cherry fruit underpinned by red florals, graphite and spice.
  • Pelorus - A fresh combination of Chardonnay led citrus and pear fruits underpinned by savory tones from the Pinot Noir component. This is a sparkling wine, made using the traditional Champenoise method.

Key people

Yang Shen is Cloudy Bay’s new Estate Director since 2016. He has moved from another position within LMVH after five years devoted to establishing Domaine Chandon in China.

Senior Winemaker Tim Heath joined Cloudy Bay in 2005 after spending several years winemaking in South Australia’s Clare and Barossa Valleys as well as the Northern Rhône in France. As Senior Winemaker, Tim the team responsible for cultivating and refining the estate style.

Viticulturist Jim White began his career in Victoria’s Strathbogie Ranges, before moving to the Yarra Valley as a Vineyard manager for Domaine Chandon Australia, and to Margaret River as a viticulturist at Cape Mentelle Vineyards. He joined Cloudy Bay in 2011 as company viticulturist. S

See also


[1] Cloudy Bay Shack Project -

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