The ten acres of grounds surrounding The Peppertree provide ample opportunity for Heidi and Werner to enjoy the agricultural pursuits that Marlborough is known for. Driving through the gate you pass the vineyard whose wine you'll be invited to enjoy at your arrival reception. You'll also sample the oil from The Peppertree's own olive grove and, when in season, pick and enjoy fresh Marlborough fruit from their very own orchard. Select a tab below to learn more.
Our Marlborough luxury hotel has its own boutique vineyard, located directly in front of the historic homestead. It is home to 328 Chardonnay vines planted on two different rootstocks. This variety, often referred to as the ‘darling’ of wine drinkers, is well suited to the soil conditions prevalent near the property.
The first harvest was in April 2001 with 700kg of grapes (500 litre juice) resulting. Harvest is to Heidi and Werner a social time in the true tradition of Old World winemaking. Friends assist in the hand picking - a day that begins early and ends with a feast and the very first taste of the vintage from the year before. If any guests are interested to take part, they are welcome to be involved in the excitement!
For Heidi and Werner, the boutique vineyard is one of their passions and, as a winemaker, Werner brings the best of his European influences and combines this with the groundbreaking new world winemaking techniques best seen in places like Marlborough. Guests are afforded the luxury of sampling and extolling the virtues of wine with a passionate winemaker who is involved in every step of the process.
For our first ten years we featured a design by a local artist for our Peppertree wine label. For our 2011 vintage, we held a year long, international vote to pick a favourite design to become our permanent label. The winner was the 2009 design by Sandro Emmenegger. See all the designs below with links to info from the artists.
|The 2001 label was designed by noted architect, Sir Michael Fowler|
Sir Michael Fowler was born in 1929 and spent his early years in Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island. He graduated from the University of Auckland as a fully qualified architect in 1952 and went on to have his own practice in Wellington. Local politics later beckoned and after a stint as a Wellington City Councillor, Sir Michael was elected as Mayor of Wellington – an office he held from 1974 to 1983. He has served on numerous boards and has been director of a number of companies over the years. Moving to Marlborough later in life, Sir Michael has continued his passion for art and architecture, designing a number of local buildings including the high-profile Highfield Estate Winery. Other national buildings designed by his partnership include the Overseas Passenger Terminal Building and the Reserve Bank in Wellington. His penchant for art has also been pursued and his detailed sketches are recognisable by many New Zealanders. Sir Michael has been married to Barbara since 1953. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
|The 2002 label was designed by local artist, Clarry Neame|
Clarry was born in 1947 into a family of 9 children in the small village of Spring Creek. He was educated at Marlborough College and graduated from Design School at Wellington Polytechnic. After 28 years in the commercial art field he returned to Blenheim to fulfil his life’s dream to paint in oils full time. His work is mainly impressionist and captures the ‘feelings & mood’ rather than to merely record. Clarry is married to Helen who is an ardent supporter and critic and has two girls, Katy and Georgina.
|The 2003 label was designed by local artist, Betty Eaton|
Betty Eaton has lived in Wellington all her life and received training at the Wellington Art School and from tutor Helen Craab. Her work has been exhibited at the N.Z. Academy of Fine Arts where she is an artist member since 1963. Betty is also a regular Exhibitor with the Wellington Society of Watercolour Artists. Her work is included in the Invercargill Art Gallery and in numerous private collections throughout New Zealand as well as in Australia, England and the USA etc. In 1988 Betty was the recipients of the Caltex Art Award for her painting in the Response to the Land Exhibition at the N.Z. Academy of Fine Art. Betty has travelled widely and her most recent visits in 1997 to Provence and Tuscany have inspired a number of landscape paintings of those regions. She also enjoys painting Still Life and N.Z. Landscapes. Betty is now residing in Marlborough.
|The 2004 label was designed by artist, Sarah Amhof|
I was born on 29 July 1984 in Auw, Switzerland. Flowers and nature in general have always inspired my creativity. My choice of career as a florist was unquestionable and I successfully completed my apprenticeship from 2001–2004. The opportunity to spend a summer season in New Zealand was a milestone in my life. Attached to the boutique vineyard is the 5 Star Luxury Accommodation, ‘The Peppertree’, where I was able to embellish the rooms with my creative flower arrangements. I spent five wonderful months there and am very grateful to Heidi and Werner for everything they taught me. Once back in Europe my path led me from Zurich to Berne in Switzerland, then to Berlin in Germany and Kufstein in Austria, all the while further developing my career. In 2010 I achieved another milestone: the opening of my own business for creative floristry, called BluetenZeit. My success justifies my motto: A creative flower arrangement made with natural materials and lively colour combinations influences the atmosphere in a room and plays positively on the well-being. Come and visit my shop at: www.blueten-zeit.de
|The 2005 label was designed by NZ artist, Meryle Kenny|
Peppertrees’ request for this label came while I was guiding a tour group of International radiologists through New Zealand. The group was in Blenheim on a post conference tour staying at Peppertree Lodge (my favourite place to stay in NZ). Peppertree tugged at my heartstrings from the very first glance at the lovely old homestead surrounded by grapevines. Previously, I had designed another significant Marlborough wine label, and shared this with the tour group by “borrowing” a bottle of that wine from Heidi and Werner’s wine cellar to show them. Heidi then suggested I might like to submit a label design for Peppertree’s next vintage. I chose the rich autumn colours of the vine leaves as the grapes ripen ready for harvest and I was absolutely delighted when Heidi and Werner chose to use my design.
|The 2006 label was designed by Canterbury artist, Tusha Midgley|
Tusha grew up in rural South Canterbury and went on to study a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University and a Diploma of interior design. Since university she has worked in Italy, Wanaka, Tunbridge Wells, with a brief stint in the Scottish highlands then back to Blenheim and, as of this year, has moved back to the family farm in south Canterbury where she is working on the deer farm while still doing some painting, sculpture and design on the side.
|The 2007 label was designed by artist, Hedy Cracknell|
Born on a farm in the mountains of Switzerland I went to London in late 1970 to learn the language. I ended up marrying an Englishman and made my home in Isleworth. Apart from working as a secretary in Orselina, Vevey and Lucerne in Switzerland, and in London for a bank, then the National Health Service before retiring, I have always enjoyed water colour painting as a hobby. Travelling is a passion of mine and when I had the opportunity to take a career break I spent the summer of 2007 at The Peppertree. This was a unique experience and also the first time that I saw roses planted with the vines at the end of each row. When Heidi and Werner invited me to do the label for that year’s vintage I felt very honoured. I tried to capture the “special relationship” between vines and roses in New Zealand with the view of the boutique vineyard at the Peppertree.
|The 2008 label was designed by local artist, Jason Hale Tillman|
Born to artist parents and raised in upstate New York in the USA, Jason moved to Brooklyn in New York City to study at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture, upon receiving a merit-based scholarship to attend the 5 year program. After completing an additional semester of studies abroad at Pratt’s studios in Rome, Italy, he graduated in 1994, earning a Bachelor of Architecture degree and a minor in Industrial Design. His work experience has included building experimental furniture and lighting pieces in the studio of renowned Italian architect/designer Gaetano Pesce in SOHO (NYC), and furniture making and design with his father Raymond at the Tillman Studios in New York. After resettling in Boulder, Colorado, Jason initially worked freelance designing furniture, lighting and landscaping, and illustrating for marketing presentations, clip-art and publications. He later served as a Designer, Project Manager and then Account Director for Fusion Specialties Inc., a manufacturer of retail store display fixtures and promotional items. His client list included venerated global brands such as Disney, Gap Inc., Macy’s and Nike. Jason now works full time as an artist and designer, exploring the realms of sculpture, lighting, metalwork, furniture and 2-D design, often with his works interlaced by spatial and architectonic roots. Personal projects over the years have included the completion of several home restorations, and participation in strawbale home construction and sustainable building programs while living in South Australia. He continues to strive to create a direct connection between vision, materials, process and site, with a conceptual clarity that can be appreciated and shared by the viewer. Jason currently resides with his wife in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and works from his home studios.
|The 2009 label was designed by Sandro Emmenegger|
Born in Sursee, Switzerland, I grew up near Lucerne, with my parents, Rita & Adolf. My mother is the sister of Heidi Pluess. I have an older sister Beni and a younger brother Kilian. After my years of basic schooling I completed a 4-year apprenticeship in technical drawing. Thereafter I had the opportunity to apply my skills in a number of projects involving airbrushing. At the age of 23 I went into advertising and earned my living as a sign writer in a private firm. In 2001 I had the opportunity to take over the company from the owner and today I’m employing two additional people. I design as well as execute and produce the orders. In my private life, I have been happily married for 4 years to Lea Emmenegger-Lobsiger and together we have a lively 2 ½ year old girl by the name of Angelina who keeps us on our toes and gives us lots of joy. In February 2012 we expect an addition to our family, a brother or sister for Angelina. There is lots happening and I’m looking forward to the future and am excited to know what life has in store for me.
|The 2010 label was designed by local artist, Jo|
Born and educated in Marlborough, I studied graphic design in Wellington in the 80’s where I gained a solid grounding in the all aspects of design; I have since worked in a variety of fields including photography, print, sign writing and web-design. Always passionate about creating, my desire to learn new creative processes has found me working in many mediums, including pottery, sculpture, printmaking, water-colour, pastels, oils and acrylics. The future direction of my work will be to expand on the themes I’m currently exploring. My fascination with landforms is one I’ll continue with for sometime and although I am presently painting realistic landscapes in oil, in time I would like to work in a more contemporary style using a variety of mediums. Another area that I am exploring at the moment is mixed media in 3D relief. The motivation for my work comes purely from my need to create and as an expression of my fascination for the forms and colours around me. There is nothing random about my work all pieces result from a culmination of quiet observation, consideration and not least my emotional response to the subject matter.
Wine and food are undeniable companions. Today in Marlborough, the olive and its oil products are increasingly joining wine as an attraction to our region.
We freely admit that the idea of an olive grove was purely a romantic notion. A touch of Greece, Italy and Spain came to our Marlborough luxury hotel when its fledgling olive grove was planted in October 2001.
The Peppertree's first olive harvest was in 2004, Heidi and Werner Pluss extract their own olive oil as well as using the olives for pickling and tapenade. Using the above varieties is expected to create a light peppery tasting oil - ideal to be served to guests relaxing under the shade of the trees from whence it came!
Stroll around the orchard and enjoy picking your own apples, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, feijoas, pears, kiwifruit, figs, oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, lemons, raspberries or boysenberries, depending on the season.
Breakfast awaits you with homemade marmalade, jam & compote made from the orchard.