Women in Wine and Spirits: Claire Allan

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Introducing Claire and Mike Allan, the dynamic couple behind Huia Vineyards!

Claire’s childhood was spent in North Canterbury in New Zealand’s South Island, (Te Wai Pounamu). After completing her winemaking studies at Roseworthy in Adelaide, Australia, she returned to Marlborough to begin her career in winemaking. Claire honed her skills by learning the art of crafting bubbles at Champagne Taittinger and working as a winemaker for Corbans, one of New Zealand’s oldest wine brands, before becoming the first winemaker at Lawson’s Dry Hills. Eventually, Claire and Mike took the leap to create their own wine, which they named after the exquisite native bird of New Zealand, The Huia.

Reflecting on their journey, the Allans write, ”Since we started Huia the vineyards have grown with an ever increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability, organics and bio-dynamics. The further we go down the track, the more evident it is that healthy clean vineyards are great places to live and work and produce more characterful wines. Every year they seem to just get better.”

Their home vineyard, located in Marlborough’s Rapaura district, is a premium site with free-draining alluvial silts and undulating stony terrain near the Wairau River and sheltered by the Richmond Range. The 35-hectare vineyard is certified by BioGro and uses no herbicides or pesticides in the production of its wine varieties. The Allans are committed to a natural approach to winemaking, working in harmony with the environment to create their wines.

Pick up a bottle of Huia Sauvignon Blanc ($21) at Tipsy!

Tipsy is a woman-owned wine and spirits shop in New York City. We offer more than 200 varietals for every palate and budget, as well as artisanal gifts and glassware. Want to get regular, curated wine deliveries to your door every month? Join the Tipsy’s Wine Club! Tell us what kind of wine you like and how many bottles you want each month. We pick out the bottles, personalized to your taste, and ship out the bottles either monthly or bi-monthly, whatever is best for you. Find out more about our Wine Club here.