Our History, Our Story
Bruce and Yasmine Leppard were practising pharmacists and pharmacy owners for 40 years. In addition, Bruce has been a grape grower, viticulturalist and wine maker for the past twenty years.
The passion for grape growing and winemaking started as a hobby in 1998 when 600 vines, mostly Bordeaux varieties, were planted on a northerly facing slope on their Hawkes Bay home lifestyle block on Silverton Road.
The resulting wines were entered in the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards (a national competition) and Bruce got immediate recognition, later achieving Champion Amateur Winemaker in 2008.
Bruce recognised the potential to pursue his newly found passion in the grape growing district of Hawke's Bay.
In 2001, Bruce and Yasmine purchased a 7-hectare apple orchard situated on the former bed of the Ngaruroro and Tutaekuri rivers, with a plan in sight. From 2002 they set forth developing a commercial vineyard on the Moteo site and after 3 years of hard work removing apple trees, digging holes, erecting infrastructure and planting vines, this land was transformed into a commercial vineyard. Since then Silverton Estate has grown in land area with the purchase of an extra 25 hectares of flat land and hill country waiting to be developed.
Silverton Estate is situated in a Bordeaux-esque microclimate, the land having profiles of free draining soils with permeable gravel, limestone and red tephra present. Bruce realised there was something extra special about this terroir. He planted some of the more traditional Hawkes Bay varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah. Bruce was certain that the terroir was commonly suited to southern European varieties and so alongside Syrah, Viognier was also planted.
The vineyard flourished and Bruce and Yasmine became contract growers for many years before deciding to develop their own label (Silverton Estate).
The first Silverton Estate wines - Viognier, Merlot and Merlot/Cabernet, were created in 2015 and were judged by Sam Kim- Wine Orbit NZ. He found the wines to be of superb quality. The 4.5-star Viognier 2015 sold out very quickly.
At the end of 2017, Bruce and Yasmine sold their pharmacy which allowed them to pursue their interest fulltime in grape growing and wine production.
Currently Silverton Estate’s range features four exceptionally rated wines. In late 2018 Silverton Estate released its first ever Rosé which received a 5-star rating. We personally love this wine, but with stocks selling out, we know others love it too.
We understand what it takes to make a good wine. It starts with good vineyard site selection, choosing good varietal clones on appropriate rootstock, then meticulous viticulture practices. The result: grapes of exceptional quality. Quality grapes inevitably result in quality wine!
Our story and achievements look to continue for 2019 and into the future. Going forward we are excited to expand on our successes and increase our production. So, if you like full bodied wines with concentrated flavours, we invite you to try Silverton Estate.