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The Fuder



From world renowned Clayvin Vineyard, a certified organic Chardonnay aged on lees in 1,000L German Fuder barrels. Our 2013 vintage was awarded 95+ points by Robert Parker Wine Advocate.

The journey of each Single Vineyard wine starts in a Marlborough vineyard selected for its unique terroir and climate. They are then nurtured with meticulous hands-on viticulture to ensure fruit produces highly concentrated flavour. Our winemaking expertise then allows these wines to speak for themselves, their purity becoming a showcase of the land.

Established in 1991, Clayvin Vineyard is a north facing hillside vineyard, the vineyard planting is high density. This density creates natural competition among the vines, reducing vigour, promoting root structure and intensity of flavour. It also means that the vineyard only produces ‘one bottle of Clayvin Chardonnay per vine’.

This is an intense and complex Chardonnay offering ripe peaches, honey and cashews with brioche nuance. It shares its terroir with both savoury and mineral flavour. On the palate it has a satiny texture which is complemented by a lively acid backbone, its finishing with lingering honey notes.

World renowned vineyard ‘Clayvin’ has historically set the standard for premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production from Marlborough.




Clayvin Vineyard

Clayvin vineyard is a living tribute to Marlborough’s viticultural history. Organic with 30 year old vines, clay soil, high density plantings deliver wines of great concentration and richness. Our finest wines from a distinctive, revered vineyard.


Southern Valleys, Marlborough - Clayvin Vineyard


Fruit is selectively hand-picked by sub-block ensuring its at optimal ripeness for maximum flavour.

After whole bunch pressing the free run juice is settled and transferred to oak. A wild yeast starter creates a warm natural fermentation which is undertaken in 1000L German Oak Fuder barrels, before its rested on lees prior to racking.

The use of Fuder barrels in this way ensures our Single Vineyard white wines develop a greater complexity and refinement because oak doesn’t dominate. The ratio of wine in contact with the barrel surface is less than smaller barrels so oak pick up is less. The staves of Fuder barrels are thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer and we find the fruit characters gain greater depth and complexity.

Certified OrganicGluten Free


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Clayvin Vineyard image

Clayvin Vineyard

Southern Valleys

Clayvin vineyard is the cornerstone of our premium wine programme. High density, organic, hillside vineyard on clay soil with 30 year old vines, rewards with fruit that has great concentration, structure and tannin overlaid with minerality. Planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Read more

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Duncan Shouler

Estate Winemaker

Duncan has always loved science and the outdoors. Winemaking in Marlborough allows him to enjoy his two passions every day. Read more

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Best Wine of 2016

We’re delighted one of the world’s most influential wine writers has included Giesen Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay in her selection of the best wines of 2016. Lisa Perrotti-Brown – writes on NZ wines for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, which includes...

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"Intense, vibrant Chardonnay with grapefruit, oyster-shell, mineral, ginger, cashew nut and spicy French oak flavours. An elegant wine with power and potential. Drink: 2021-2025.
2016 Vintage, Reviewed February 2021."


Bob Campbell, The Real Review

"2016 Vintage: Gorgeous impact on the nose, displaying nectarine, lemon peel, oatmeal, vanilla and toasted almond characters with a delightful savoury complexity. The palate delivers superb weight and roundness with creamy texture and expansive mouthfeel. Beautifully layered and impressively structured. At its best: now to 2021. 96pts "


Sam Kim - Wine Orbit

"2015 Vintage: An exceptional offering; the bouquet is inviting, engaging and very charming with white stone fruit, rockmelon, lemon pith, vanilla and hazelnut characters with a touch of flinty notes. The palate offers outstanding fruit purity and vibrancy, wonderfully complemented by creamy texture and firm acidity. It is taut yet rounded and flows effortlessly to an extremely long sensual finish. At its best: 2018 to 2023. 97pts"


Sam Kim - Wine Orbit

"2014 Vintage: Editor's Choice - Giesen's top Chardonnay is aged in 1,000 liter German oak fuders. Give this beauty some time in glass—along with a few good swirls—and a patchwork of enticing aromas come wafting out: grilled pineapple, nuts, smoke and salt. The palate is tight, linear and focused, with a salty, nutty finish. Drink now–2025. March 2018"


Wine Enthusiast Magazine

"2014 Vintage: One of Giesen's single vineyard series, this is from Brancott Valley's silty loam Clayvin vineyard, and from organically farmed vines more than twenty years of age. Whole bunch pressed, wild ferment, after settling this was sent to new 1000L German oak fuder (cigar) for 11 months to impart a lower oak to volume ratio. An impressively finessed, concentrated, earthy, flinty, structured form, with tight lemon eraser, stone, and earthy meadow herb-lined lees. A mineral hum vibrates along the finish. Love the energy in this young wine, one that will age very well over the next 5-10 years easy."


Trev Ring - Canadian Wine Journalist

"2014 Vintage: Lovely smoky struck match aromas. Complex with lees and some citrus zest and orange peel notes. A long textured finish."

International Wine Challenge

"2014 Vintage: Chardonnay has been a big improver in New Zealand where they are starting to make finer wines with less obvious intervention. This is so beautifully elegant, with typical stone fruit held with a fine nutty citrus combination. Textured with a very long finish. Best drinking now to 2021."


Ray Jordan - Australian Wine Writer

"2014 Vintage: There was complexity over butter and nectarine notes. It was also rich and vibrant with fresh apricots. There was lots of action; the oak was strong but contributed length and character. "


"2014 Vintage: From Giesen, this wine is grown in the famous Clayvin Vineyard, in the Brancott Valley, and fermented and matured in 1000-litre German oak casks (fuders), which 'develop greater complexity and refinement, but the oak doesn't dominate'. The tight, youthful, age-worthy 2014 vintage is bright, light lemon/green, with a fragrant, complex, slightly smoky bouquet. Mouthfilling, it is elegant, with concentrated grapefruit and peach flavours, integrated oak, fine acidity, and a powerful, lasting finish"

Michael Cooper Buyer's Guide

"2014 Vintage: Giesen's top Chardonnay is aged in 1,000 liter German oak fuders. Give this beauty some time in glass—along with a few good swirls—and a patchwork of enticing aromas come wafting out: grilled pineapple, nuts, smoke and salt. The palate is tight, linear and focused, with a salty, nutty finish. Drink now–2025."


Wine Enthusiast Magazine - Jan 2018

"2014 Vintage: Sophisticated, complex and intriguing bouquet of oak, mineral, soft though obvious oak aromas and finely knitted fruit layers. On the palate – very engaging with mineral, gun flint, sulphides and oak spice; plenty of stone fruit and citrus flavours and a highly energized texture; long engaging finish"


Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier

"2013 Vintage: This is the product of another vineyard (the Clayvin) where chardonnay excels. Its nose had Jane Boyle wanting to “smell it all day long”. In the mouth it’s the full orchestra; flintiness, smoky bacon, hazelnut, almond shortcake all playing their parts. A wine with depth, presence and textural intrigue"


"2013 Vintage: A youthful and complex bouquet (like the 2012) yet has more pronounced citrus and mineral laden messages. White fleshed stone fruits and citrus peel suggestions. Palate has a real tang to the fruit flavours, mineral water flavours, white flowers and developing complexity. A dry, crisp youthful finish."

Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier

"2013 Vintage: This was a new release from Giesen, who is now producing a range of these “fuder” (BIG barrel) aged, single vineyard wines. Coming from what is one of Marlborough’s most exciting vineyards – the Clayvin Vineyard – I’ve had this Chardonnay half a dozen times now, and it has never failed to blow me away!"


Robert Parker - Wine Advocate

"2012 Vintage: Powerful, complex wine with substantial body, rich, citrusy, slightly nutty flavours and a beautifully harmonious, lasting finish. (Grown in the Clayvin Vineyard, in the Brancott Valley, and fermented and matured in new German oak fuders.)"


"2012 Vintage: The clay and stone soils really push the mineral messages in the aroma, a generous and creamy burst of stone fruit, measured noticeable oak and lightly spiced complexity. Palate is fresh, juicy, citrusy and dry; oak remains a noticeable voice along with the mineral aspect; medium weigh; youthful and tasty."

Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier