nick nobilo

Nick Nobilo is regarded as a pioneer of the modern New Zealand wine industry. During his time at the helm of the family business, Nobilo wines scored some notable firsts and gained increasing accolades.
 

• Late 1960s - A young, energetic Nick Nobilo decides to lead the industry away from fortified and hybrids and concentrates on classical vinifera varietals, setting the scene for the creation of the first quality varietals of the 1970’s that produced so much of New Zealand’s early international recognition.
 

• 1970s - Nobilo Pinotage, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, which had until then been untried on a commercial scale, become collectors’ items. Nobilo also produces New Zealand’s first commercial quantities of Gewurztraminer in 1972. Within a few years of producing New Zealand’s first German style Muller Thurgau in 1974, the wine becomes the country’s vin du pays with the rest of the industry emulating its success. Nobilo's Muller Thurgau was significantly responsible for converting New Zealand into a wine-drinking nation.
 

• 1973 - Nick wins the coveted THC trophy for Best Overall New Zealand Wine for the first time and wins it again with his 1976 Cabernet Sauvignon in 1979.
 

• 1979 - The distinguished Master of Wine, English wine merchant John Avery, is so impressed by the 1976 Nobilo Cabernet Sauvignon that he decides to import it. It’s the first New Zealand wine to be imported on a commercial scale into the United Kingdom.
 

• 1980s - Nobilo wins the Australia and New Zealand Foundation trophy for the top wine of New Zealand, and the London-based Decanter Trophy for the New Zealand wine with the best export potential. Both wines were barrel fermented Chardonnays. Nick was the first to use new French oak Chardonnay in New Zealand in 1973.
 

• 1989 - Nick develops New Zealand’s first true generic wine style by blending the highly successful Muller Thurgau with Sauvignon Blanc. He calls the wine ‘White Cloud’ after the Maori name for New Zealand - ‘Aotearoa’ - which means ‘land of the long white cloud’. Large export markets in Europe and Asia are secured with this fresh-tasting, blended wine. Such is its popularity that Nick Nobilo receives a prestigious Export Award from New Zealand’s Prime Minister at the time, the Rt. Hon. Jim Bolger.
 

• 1990s - A Nobilo Chardonnay fights off stiff international competition to be selected by British Airways as the first New World wine for serving on all of the airline’s European flights. Winemaker Nick Nobilo had correctly gauged what would taste palatable at 35,000 feet. This supply arrangement continues today, more than ten years after it began.
 

• 2000 - Nobilo Icon, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 1999, awarded World Champion Sauvignon Blanc at the London Wine and Spirits Competition, one of the world’s top international wine competitions.
 

• 2000 - After playing a pivotal role keeping his family’s wine business a step ahead, Nick Nobilo oversees the sale of New Zealand’s second-largest public wine company, that originally began as a small privately owned business, to BRL Hardy, one of Australia’s largest wine producers.
 

• 2000 - Nick embarks on his passionate dream, the development of Vinoptima, a single variety vineyard dedicated to producing world class Gewurztraminer wine. Another first for New Zealand.
 

• 2003 - Nick Nobilo produces the first vintage of Vinoptima Ormond Gewurztraminer that goes on to achieve international acclaim.
 

• 2005 - Nick Nobilo launches the inaugural Vinoptima Reserve 2003 vintage onto an unsuspecting global market to rage reviews and appoints Negociants to distribute Vinoptima in New Zealand.
 

• 2006 - Nick Nobilo appoints Negociants Australia as national distributor for Australia.
 

• 2006 - Vinoptima enters USA, UK and Canadian markets following market visits by Nick Nobilo and there is immediate international acceptance of the brand.
 

• 2007 - Following a trip to the UK Nick Nobilo expands distribution for Vinoptima in Europe and Asia and the wines are now listed in some of the world’s finest restaurants: The Fat Duck in London, French Laundry in California, Savoy London, and many more.
 

• 2007 - Nick Nobilo releases the first ‘Vinoptima Noble’ following the stunning 2004 vintage. The wine is released in the same year as Gisborne experiences one of the best vintages on record. Another Vinoptima Noble is made this year.
 

• 2008 - Vinoptima makes its first appearance in China although Nick Nobilo had visited China almost 20 years earlier.
 

• 2010 - Nick Nobilo secures opportunity for Vinoptima to exhibit at Vancouver Playhouse in Canada.
 

• 2011 - Nick Nobilo celebrates his 50th vintage with a limited release (‘friends & family’) of his Golden Jubilee Reserve Grand Red. Another fine example of New Zealand’s ability to produce world class wines.
 

• 2012 - Nick Nobilo undertakes his 10th visit to China in less than 3 years. The demand for Vinoptima wines in Asia is continuing to build.
 

• 2013 - Nick Nobilo announces the release of ‘Elegant Rose’, the Vinoptima Reserve 2008.