Sliding Hill


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Unlike his brother, Luc did not waste time trying out career options; he focused on a degree in Viticulture and Oenology and graduated in 2003. Working as a cellar hand in NZ provided connections that paved his way to work for King Estate Winery in Oregon.

Under the tutelage of winemaker Ray Walsh, Luc was able to learn how the grape were being grown and made into wines that embodied “sense of place” characteristics, his first and still most passionate philosophy regarding wine.

After a few more vintages in the USA in Napa and again in Oregon, Luc returned to New Zealand to work for the winery Indevin in Marlborough. The region caught his attention and he found a fit in the young emergent wine industry where his own ideas could shape the future of the area. He soon worked his way up to become the Head Winemaker of Indevin’s Red Cellar, the largest custom crush red wine cellar in New Zealand, a prestigious job for someone so young.

The Cowley family vineyard in Marlborough was the playground and inspiration that propelled two brothers to grow up with an appreciation for wine that many might take for granted. Today, Viticulturist and General Manager Ben works side by side with his Winemaker brother, Luc.

Ben's involvement in the wine industry was not his first career choice. After graduating from University with a degree in Psychology, becoming a professional yacht skipper and sailing around the Pacific, and then building a formidable career as a cameraman in the film industry, Ben's interest moved to grapevines where he finally found his calling. Ben, his wife Deirdre and baby Oliver decided to live and work at the family farm, a property with historic ties to Marlborough’s first vineyard and winery.

Ben took on the general management of the vineyard. His hands-on approach extends from the core physical working of the land, to the overseas promotion of the Sliding Hill brand. The most recent years have been particularly rewarding working with his younger brother Luc who has taken over the winemaking duties.

Ben’s over riding philosophy is that great wine is made from great fruit. He is an advocate for detailed and accurate vine manipulation on individual parcels of fruit, so that they most accurately display the unique expressions of the physical characteristics of the land.

“It is my job to nurture these differences and help develop their expression through to the final wine. There is nothing better than sitting down at the end of a hard days work and experiencing an Sliding Hill wine that expresses who and what we are.”

During one of his last vintages at Indevin, Luc met his wife, Kate. It should have come as no surprise that someone so dedicated to American red wines would marry an American redhead! After the birth of their son, Luc realized how much of his ideals about winemaking matched those of his family and he stepped away from his job at Indevin to focus on working with his brother to make wines of distinction and sense of place from their unique vineyard in the Southern Valleys of Marlborough.

“I strive for the wines I make to be complex yet varietal and to reflect the terroir without being bound by it.”

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Viticulturist, Ben Cowley and Winemaker, Luc Cowley


Sauvignon Blanc

2010

REGION

Marlborough, New Zealand

BLEND

100% Sauvignon Blanc

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Lifted aromas of ripe gooseberry, passionfruit, citrus and tropical fruit.


SAUVIGNON BLANC

2013

REGION

Marlborough, New Zealand

BLEND

100% Sauvignon Blanc

Intense rip fruit aromas of passionfruit and peach skin with citrusy notes of grapefruit, lemongrass and floral citrus blossom. Powerful, tight and elegant. This wine displays intense ripe fruit flavors of passionfruit and white peach, with citrus notes of lime and mandarin. The palate has generous weight and texture, balanced by an underlying minerality and tight structure.