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Winemaking usually starts in the vineyard, but for the Neylon and Wiffin families it starts with the spring that lies at the heart of their lands, fed from a reservoir in the Southern Alps. Rapaura Springs isn’t just the name of their brand, it represents their philosophy of protecting their water, their land, whilst making wines that showcase what the region of Marlborough has to offer. With a slew of awards to their name, it is fair to say they are doing exactly that.
Rapaura Springs is still a relatively young winery, it was originally a fruit orchard before being converted into a winery in 2003, wine under the label ‘Rapaura Springs’ didn’t occur until 2007. The success they’ve had since then is remarkable but shouldn’t really come as a surprise. John Neylon, owner and managing director of Rapaura Springs, has been in the Marlborough export business for some time now, being one of the pioneers of the green lipped mussel industry. Allergic to sitting behind a desk you’ll instead find him working the land somewhere amongst the vines. He is joined by his son, Brendan along with Ian Wiffin, both of whom have been instrumental in seeing their winery grow. This has been achieved by a hands-off kind of approach, allowing the vineyards to tell their story with a small helping hand from their expert team of winemakers. Well sometimes small, they did just put in a new $3 million winery wash down water treatment meaning 100% of that water is recycled.