• About Us

  • Our Story

    Vicarage Lane Wines was founded in 2002, when UK-based Kiwi John Kennard purchased 4 hectares of land on St Leonards Road, Marlborough, which was partly planted with 2 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc vines.

    In 2003, half the new company was sold to established Christchurch winemakers Brent and Shirley Rawstron, giving the fledgling business greater knowledge of the industry, plus equity to allow vineyard expansion.

    John, along with partner Satu Lappalainen, returned to New Zealand to run the business and develop a further 4 hectares of vines on adjacent land.

  • This vineyard has supplied the fruit for Vicarage Lane's award winning Sauvignon Blanc since the first vintage in 2004.

    More recently, in 2018 Satu and John returned to full ownership of the company and have purchased an 8 hectare vineyard in Old Renwick Road, while still operating the St Leonards Road vineyard.

    The new vineyard has a mix of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc vines, but part will slowly be developed to obtain the right blend of vines to meet our future needs.

  • Vineyard Management
  • Vineyard Management

  • In late May 2004, the day-to-day management of Vicarage Lane's St Leonards Road vineyard, along with 35 hectares owned by a new vineyard company, The Brothers Vineyard Partnership, reverted from local contract management to VLW, who now carries out the vineyard operations described below.

    Subsequently, Vicarage Lane has also taken over the management of 2 vineyards for other companies, giving a total area of 65 hectares and a total harvest that exceeded 1000 tonnes for the first time in 2016.

  • Winter

    Sheep In A Vineyard At Vicarage Lane Wines In Blenheim Marlborough NZ

    After harvest each year, once the leaves have dropped from the vines and the sap flow ceased, the 65 hectares of vineyards undergoes winter pruning, with the previous seasons growth cut back to just four canes.

    All vines are grown on a standard upright canopy trellis, using four cane vertical shoot positioning (VSP) training system. This system produces the best quality of fruit, while allowing easier management of ground areas between and under the rows.

    At the same time, blocks that are not being pruned are grazed by mobs of sheep from a local farm, providing feed when it is often less available, while sustainably “processing” weeds and return them to the soil.

    When pruning is complete, removed canes are mulched to allow them to break down and provide a natural source of fibrous matter in the soil. At the same time soil samples are taken and analysed, so a programme of fertilising can be undertaken, if required, with just the right minerals needed for the plants well being.

    For the final part of winter work, the wires that have held the heavy summer canopy in place are lowered to the ground in anticipation of new spring growth, while any plants that have been damaged or died during previous seasons are removed for replacement in the spring.

  • Spring

    Once spring growth begins, each vineyard receives a carefully documented preventative spray programme, which continues through the summer, respecting any pre harvest withholding periods set by the various markets where the finished wine will be sold.

    Weeds, which grow as quick as the vines in the fertile soil, are also managed with a sustainable weed control programme and the inter-row grass is mown using a mulching mower, return nutrients to the soil.

  • Summer

    As the canopy rises again, the wires dropped in the spring, are lifted again to ensure the canopy is fully supported.

    When it reaches it’s full height and volume, the top and sides are trimmed and some of the leaves removed to allow the flowers, and later the fruit, to receive just the right amount of light.

    Judicious irrigation is also applied to ensure the health of the vine while allowing the best fruit flavour development.

  • Autumn

    Early in the autumn, once the fruit has developed to near ripe, samples are taken and the juice from the berries analyised to ensure harvesting is carried out at optimal sugar and acid levels.

    The fruit is then machine-harvested and trucked to the winery to begin the winemaking process.

    Then the seasonal vineyard cycle begins again.

  • Contact Info
  • Location & Contact Info

  • Satu Lappalainen

    +64 21 188-5159 (NZ)

    +358 400 803 664 (EU)

  • John Kennard

    +64 21 267-7936

  • Finnish Importer

    Hartwall Oy, Helsinki, Finland
    Laura Tiusanen
    +358 40 549 3343

  • Online Stores

  • Vicarage Lane Wines Ltd


    98 Oakley Avenue
    Blenheim 7201
    New Zealand

  • New Zealand

    In New Zealand, you can purchase online from Glengarry Wines.


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