About Bladen

In 1989, Christine and Dave Macdonald left their city lives behind to realise their dream of establishing a vineyard and winery. With caravan in tow the family embarked on a national tour to find the ideal winegrowing region and vineyard location.

Settling in Marlborough, they planted their vineyard by hand, initially growing grapes for local wineries before creating their own wines under the Bladen name.  Chris and Dave quickly developed a reputation for making exceptional cool climate wines.

The Bladen name refers to Chris and Dave’s children – Blair and Deni – who were toddlers when the vineyard was developed.


Christine and Dave Macdonald : Christine and Dave Macdonald are proud to be amongst the pioneers of the Marlborough winegrowing region. There were only eight wineries in the Marlborough district in 1989 when they established their vineyard.  The challenges they faced in developing a wine business when the industry was young were very exciting.

Sam Smail, Diana Katardzhieva and Rowan Langdon : Bladen wines are crafted by highly regarded winemakers Sam Smail, Diana Katardzhieva and Rowan Langdon. Our winemakers are renowned for their exceptional winemaking skills, who collectively have many vintages under their belts having worked in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Italy to name but a few.

Keven and Kerry Tilly : The Tilly's are dedicated grape growers located in Benmorven, an area in the Southern Valleys of the main Wairau Valley of Marlborough. Keven and Kerry supply Bladen with the award winning Gewurztraminer grapes that recently won a GOLD medal for the 2010 vintage.

Nick & Lauren Hunter : The Hunters are involved in grapegrowing throughout the Marlborough region with their day jobs with other wine companies, but at the end of the day they manage their own 1.5 hectare house block of Sauvignon Blanc for us. Very capable and skilled, their immaculate Alma Street Vineyard is on similar soils to Bladen and blends very nicely with our home block.