Frenchmans Hill Estate
“A lovely rich and supple red…”
– Michael Cooper on the 2013 Blood Creek 8, rated 5 stars
Frenchman’s Hill is owned by Luc and Anna Desbonnets and is situated on the sheltered northern slopes, above the Putiki Estuary, on the western head of Onetangi Valley. The property has 12 acres of north facing slope vineyard, olive groves and wetlands.
After 25 years working globally in viticulture and winemaking, Kiwi/Frenchman Luc Desbonnets with his wife Anna returned to New Zealand and relocated to Waiheke Island in 2000 to produce their own wines under the Frenchman’s Hill Label and Frenchman’s Hill olive oil. Anna, an interior designer also designs her own handicrafts and art works, which are shown in various areas of the 12 acre property.
In 2005 Luc acquired “the perfect red wine site…” now known as Frenchmans Hill Estate. In 2006 he planted his vineyard upon it’s steep northern, sheltered slopes, “The 8 Vineyard”, a careful selection of 8 red grape varieties with his vision of two wines, a Syrah and a unique blended red.
The 8 Vineyard at Frenchmans Hill Estate was named primarily after the eight varieties planted upon it. The figure 8 is also a continuum representing the continuous annual cycle of the vines…each full figure eight results in a fantastic vintage wine!! The vineyard is set up with the number 8 as its guide eg. 8 vines between each post, 8 rows under each net, 8 vats made from each vintage…..a little superstition from our winemaker whose key focus is TERROIR = vines + soil + climate + man.
THE 8 VINE VARIETIES – Planting a wine to express the site. The eight varietals are as follows:
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Tannat, Viognier, Kolor.
Frenchman’s Hill are ultra premium style wines particularly where the correct grape varietal/clone selections are matched to favourable sites. Each of the varietals has been carefully planned and thought out