About Us

Philosophy

At Kelly Washington we seek the most unique and diverse parcels of high quality fruit, which we translate into our elegant and honest wines. We work with a fastidious bunch of growers who have a love for the land, and are unrelenting in their pursuit of nurturing exceptional fruit from distinguished sites. Old vines, high density planting, vineyards of altitude, organic and bio-dynamic farming - these are the attributes we seek from the growers we work with.

Working with such exceptional fruit, our aim is to is to showcase and explore sub regionality of New Zealand's wine growing regions, but moreover making wines of provenance. In many cases, these special sites are farmed organically and bio-dynamically. Therefore it is important for us to take these philosophies into the winery and beyond.

Strict hand harvesting, the use of alternative fermentation and maturation vessels - such as concrete eggs, large barrels and amphora, that only enhance elegance, texture and balance naturally. We use minimal additives in the winery including native yeasts, and allow our wines time to rest - all that aids in our mission to make transparent, honest wines that reflect provenance of place.





Who we are

Husband and wife team. She’s the winemaker, he’s the commercial guy. He’s English (12 years in NZ), She’s a Kiwi (lived for 7 years in Italy). Juggling life and wine with our two girls Coco Simone, and Clover Kitty.

Graduating as top scholar from Lincoln University with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology, after starting out her career at Seresin Estate in Marlborough, time was spent making wine for various estates in the USA, Australia, and Italy, where at the tender age of 25 was appointed Head Winemaker for a winery in Sicily (with others in Puligia and Tunisia) where she lived for 7 years full time. After setting up a large new winery in New Zealand, and many awards, it was time to get back to her roots, starting a family, and Kelly Washington wines. With the journey of life always taking us to unexpected places, Tamra has not only gone back to her roots, but also back to where it all started at Seresin Estate, as Consultant Winemaker.

He worked in Risk Management, IT and Finance for large corporates before quitting the corporate world, after which he decided to travel the world and immerse himself in wine, doing everything from vintages, vineyard work, fine wine sales, sommelier, distribution, whilst also obtaining the WSET Diploma. Most recently he has been exporting NZ wine around the world and importing wines of provenance from great estates in Europe and the US. These wines are part of the inspiration to start this new journey.



Our Vineyards

Southern Valleys Vineyard: Marlborough - Sauvignon Blanc

A 4Ha hillside vineyard located in the Waihopai Valley, 200 m above sea level on a North East facing slope. The soil is predominantly loess above a clay sub soil. The 17 year old vineyard is closely planted at 4630 vines / ha, trained very close to the ground, with a short canopy. Organically and Bio-dynamically farmed.


Central Wairau Valley: Marlborough - Semillon | Sauvignon Blanc

A 1Ha stony vineyard 100m above sea level, located on stony alluvium soils on the free draining valley floor. Facing North, these vines are 24 - 27 years old. Organically and Bio–dynamically farmed.

Rapaura Vineyard: Marlborough - Chardonnay

A 2Ha sheltered, warm, flat site, sitting on sandy loam over clay soils. Planted on a North/ South aspect, these vines are 24 years old. Organically and Bio-dynamically farmed.

Gibbston Vineyard: Central Otago - Pinot Noir

Located towards the end of the Gibbston valley floor on a gentle 2Ha hillside slope, at the foot of the majestic Nevis Bluff, 350 above sea level. The 17-year-old vines are planted on the unique Pigburn Soils, wind-blown glacial deposits over alluvial schist. The conditions are extreme – very cool nights, snow, hot days in the summer, very dry, and an incredibly long growing season. This vineyard is managed conventionally but with minimal chemical inputs. Yields are super low and vegetative growth naturally minimal.