Michael Seresin, a New Zealand born filmmaker based in London, is the sole owner of Seresin Estate. While racking up credits as cinematographer for movies such as Fame, Angela's Ashes and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban he also bought 167 acres in Marlborough in 1992 and started seriously exploring his passion for wines. Inspired by his first glass of Cloudy Bay, he hired Brian Bicknell, Chief Winemaker at Viña Errazuriz in the Aconcagua Valley, Chile and they began planting Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling.
It's important to Michael that all three vineyards are managed and certified organic under BioGro certification. The estate is also striving for biodynamic certification because as he recently told Wine Spectator, “Some of the best vineyards in Burgundy are doing it. It has nothing to do with sales or marketing… in essence its traditional agriculture.” (July 10, 2006)
This philosophy of working in harmony with nature is evident in their commitment to careful hand-tending, and hand-harvesting and sorting. It also is represented in their efforts to work with natural elements such as wild yeasts to elicit a true Marlborough character in their wines with minimal wine-maker intervention in order to allow the layers of flavour to evolve, so the wines are a natural expression of the soil from which they come.
All three Seresin vineyards are managed organically, two being the only ones in all of Marlborough to be BioGro certified. Some 200 people apply annually for the jobs of hand-picking an impressive array of grape varieties – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Semillon, Gewürztraminer and Riesling -which are all hand-sorted before being whole-bunch pressed. Portions of the grapes are then naturally fermented using indigenous yeasts to give greater interest to the resulting wine. Out in the field, there are 'cow pat pits' for batching up biodynamic preparations. Along with the manure, ingredients include valerian, nettle, chamomile, dandelion and oak bark.