Sophie and Mark McGill grew up in the heart of the New Zealand wine industry. Sophie’s parents, James & Wendy Healy were at Cloudy Bay before setting up Dog Point Vineyard in Marlborough. Mark’s father Linton worked for many decades as a viticulturist throughout New Zealand before establishing his own vineyard in the Wairarapa in the early 90’s. Having grown up on and around vineyards it was a natural transition for them both to work in the industry themselves. They travelled, worked in hospitality and worked several vintages abroad before starting Abel in Nelson in 2015. In the beginning they produced cider but the goal was always to make wine. They harvested their first vintage in 2018 using fruit from rolling hills of the Moutere Valley where Chardonnay thrives; with rich clay soils, high sunshine hours and a glorious maritime climate, the area is perfect for making a fresh and highly textured style. The vineyards are managed using sustainable practices, with a view to implement organic viticulture in the future. Spring 2019 marked the planting Abel's very own vineyard and orchard in the Moutere. They aren't aiming for a particular style but for wines with purity and drinkability that complement the food they're being enjoyed with. Mark says: For us, it's about showcasing the fruit, that's the key ingredient after all and I think that's quite evident in both our cider and our chardonnay.