Well this journey started back in 1937 when my late grandfather Nikola Nobilo arrived into Auckland from his homeland of Croatia. The village of Lumbarda on the island of Korcula to be precise.
In 1943 he began planting grapes in Huapai in Auckland’s West. It was here he decided to settle. Gradually the Nobilos led New Zealand away from hybrid grapes to an emphasis on classic grape varieties which produced higher quality wines.
He was later joined the family business by my father and two uncle’s, which grew to become one of New Zealand’s largest wineries. In the 1995 New Year Honours list, he was awarded an OBE, for services to the wine industry.
I was brought up in a passionate winemaking family and spent many many summers in the family vineyards.
My journey began in 2010 whilst on a visit to Adelaide and the McLaren Vale region in South Australia. An afternoon spent sampling an array of Shiraz barrels set the wheels in motion.
A couple of months later my award winning 2009 Mt Hillary McLaren Vale shiraz landed in Auckland and the rest is history so to say … Vintages ’10, ’12 and ’13 have followed as well as parcels of Sauvignon Blanc and barrel fermented Chardonnay.
The sole aim of Mt Hillary is to source premium parcels of fruit that are a honest reflection of the vintage, express true varietal character but ultimately showing the stamp of the trusted winemaker.