Foundation Grower | John Blackmore 

The genesis of Ahi Kā, rests with John Blackmore. You will not meet a more zealous grape grower as he. The art of cultivation is in his DNA.
John, a third-generation horticulturist, grew up amid the vines of the family’s tomato business before he ventured out and established his own organic apple orchard in Marlborough. Now he owns and farms one of the most sought-after plots of land for Sauvignon Blanc in the country, if not the world.

Matt first met John around twenty years ago as he was a neighbour and they shared mutual friends. Matt recalls that the first time they talked, they discussed the industry and Marlborough. It was then that Matt told John that he owned what may very well be the best place to grow Sauvignon Blanc in the world. John was a very proud orchardist and initially was not interested in the potential of the land as vineyard since he had invested so much time, energy, and money into his orchard.

“It was then I told him that he owned what may very well be the best place to grow Sauvignon Blanc in the world.”

In 2003, with Matt’s guidance, John turned his orchard into a Sauvignon Blanc vineyard (going 100% to Sauvignon Blanc was rare in those days). In the years in between planting and now John and Matt have built a friendship though their mutual love of kayaking, and wine.

John has three teenage sons. Four years ago John lost his wife of thirty years, Cayley, to pancreatic cancer after an incredibly brave battle. To say that John and Cayley were close does not even begin to describe their relationship. John sees this as the right time to take the next step in his progression of farming his land and to establish something for the next generation of Blackmores. Keeping the home fires burning.

Matt made the wine from John’s block for thirteen years for the winery it was contracted to. Matt knows the vineyard inside out. He is genuine when he states this vineyard is capable of being a Grand Cru of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.