What we have here is a fairly recent wine estate, since it was created back in 1985. Despite its young age, Cloudy Bay, located in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, quickly became iconic. The estate bears the same name as the nearby bay, discovered by British explorer James Cook in 1770. That specific bay is also known as "Te Koko-o-Kupe" in the Maori language. Although the Cloudy Bay estate has borrowed the location's name, its actual vineyard is located inland, further from the coast.
In 1985 then, Australian citizen David Hohnen, a reserved but creative man who had been the talk of the town a few years earlier with his Cape Mentelle estate. That same year, Cloudy Bay released its first vintage. In his 140 hectares vineyard, David spent a long time experimenting on his favorite grape variety, the Sauvignon Blanc (which represents approximately 60% of the entire production) used to make the famous "Te Koko" cuvée.
That very French grape variety, found in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, would quickly become Cloudy Bay's trademark. That is not to say that other ones like Chardonnay or Pinot Noir (used for the "Te Wahi" cuvée, for example) were not also cultivated by the New Zealand estate. Today, what was once a confidential estate has become a worldwide phenomenon. Cloudy Bay has grown even bigger since it was bought by the LVMH group in the early 2000's. Founder David Hohnen left the estate following the buyout, replaced by Mr. Yang Shen as the new director.