Blackenbrook Vineyard is owned by the Schwarzenbach family: winemaker Daniel, his wife Ursula, and their children Thomas and Isabelle.
Our family has both New Zealand and Swiss heritage and we derived the winery's name from an anglicised version of Schwarzenbach. In German, schwarz means black and bach means brook or stream.
Together, we planted the first vines in 2001 and released our first vintage in 2004. Today, we grow seven grape varieties on eight of our 30 hectares and produce multiple award-winning wines that express the unique characteristics of our land.
Blackenbrook Vineyard is more than Daniel’s namesake. He grew up in New Zealand and was working at a winery in Switzerland in 1996 when he met Ursula. They got married and moved back to New Zealand with a plan.
While scouting potential locations to plant vines and build their dream, they discovered a spot in Tasman that ticked all the boxes. Together, they propagated all their vines and planted the vineyard. Soon after, Thomas and Isabelle came along and the vision of a hands-on family winery took shape.
Today, Ursula manages sales, marketing, and finance. Thomas and Isabelle have grown up with winemaking in their blood, playing at the winery and watching their father tend to the vines. In 2022, Thomas began his own journey to become a winemaker. The family tradition continues.
“We want to remain small and true to ourselves. We put our own stamp on every bottle of Blackenbrook wine we sell. There’s nothing as rewarding as ownership of the entire process from the viticulture to the winemaking to the marketing and sales. We stick to our winemaking philosophy and we do not compromise.”
The vineyard team
An enthusiastic and hard-working team cares for our vines from bud-burst through to harvest.
As autumn arrives, so does harvest, and more hands are needed. Many of our Moutere neighbours and helpers from around the world descend on the vineyard to help us bring the crop in. Our winery's family has grown over the years thanks to these amazing people who shoulder the work and share stories of wines and winemaking.
Most years we also have an overseas trainee helping Daniel in the vineyard and winery. They usually come from European winemaking families. After finishing their own winemaking training they bring along untamed enthusiasm and latest knowledge, just as Daniel did many years ago when he was in exact the same shoes in Europe's great wine regions. He values the fresh insight and is delighted to pay it forward to today's young viticulturists.
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