There has to be a great story behind a name like 3Sixty2. A play-on-words is one thing. A play-on-numbers, however, holds meaning deeper than the roots of the vines that are harvested for the very purpose of our trade. Alice Rule, founder and winemaker at 3Sixty2 explains…
“Everything we do at 3Sixty2 is driven by the same passion for wine that James Busby, the pioneer of viticulture in Australasia, once had. Fire and flare delivers more than just a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. It is the sustainability of getting the very best out of our vines, it is the amenity of bringing us together, and it is the enjoyment of what makes up an essential part of our lives. The legacy of wine making in New Zealand is pivotal to who we are and why we do what we do.”
Originally from Scotland, James Busby’s family immigrated to New South Wales, when he was 22 years old. A trained wine grower, he had developed a vision to bring viticulture in the Southwest Pacific to life by establishing a carefully selected vine collection.
Numbers mark the starting point of what has grown to be one of New Zealand’s greatest success stories. 570 is the number of different vine cuttings Busby had accumulated in his vine collection. Yet 362 is the number of those vines survived the journey back from Europe.
-‘HOLD UP, – wasn’t it 363 vines?’ We can faintly hear a viticulture enthusiast’s plea ringing in our ears.
Well, yes, the number quite possibly may have been 363 as some sources say. And while we cannot conclude exactly whether it was 362 or 363, what we DO know for sure is that we like the sound of 362 better. So we’ve decided to roll with that. And whatever happened to that one mystery vine, well, let’s just call it a play-on-numbers.
Just like those 362 vines, resilience is core to the identity of our company, as it is to their nurturer, James Busby. An instrumental character, primarily known to us as the British Resident to New Zealand in the early 19th century, and facilitator of the Treaty of Waitangi. But little do we know, that without his vision, New Zealand would not have the successful wine industry that it has today.
Character was certainly not understated where Busby was concerned. Just like the boldest of wines, he was bursting with brilliance, full bodied and complex, with not so subtle hints of spice. He was a visionary and had an energy that created friction amongst those who tried to oppose his views. He was determined to convey his viewpoint on wine’s value in terms of economy, as well as its influence in terms of sociology. His idealistic views and innovative ideas on the way the world should be landed him in the realm of politics.
While becoming the first ever British Resident to New Zealand was not part of his plan, Busby accepted, honed in and delivered on the role. And while few varieties from his original vine collection have survived, the profound impact that this had on wine making in New Zealand stands proud. A true testament to how passion, determination and courage can drive success. Success, that continues to grow, long after the one who planted it.
This is my first ever wine to be properly released and is one I am incredibly proud of. Fruit was machine harvested in 2016 from the Waihopai vineyard, literally across the road from the Spy Base to allow natural maceration on skins while being delivered to the winery for pressing. 25% of free run juice was filled straight to barrel, of which 10% went through indigenous yeast ferment. The remaining 75% of juice went through floatation, pre ferment. Clear juice was then inoculated with a mix of controlled yeast strains in a stainless tank under slow and carefully managed environment. The barrel fermented wines went through lees stirring, were aged and later added to the rest of the blend.
Wine tasting notes:
A turn against traditional Sauvignon Blanc displays lushious stone fruit aromas & ripe gooseberry. A complex, rich palate is balanced with nuances of passionfruit. Fine natural acidity, gives this wine character, indicative of sharp vine management in our Waihopai vineyard. This wine has been carefully cellared to allow full maturity. Drinking beautifully now. pH 3.30 TA 6.82g/L RS 2.5g/L.
The Land – Waihopai Valley, Marlborough
Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley may be home to a spy base, but there are more captivating stories to this region than those picked up through the frequencies, and it’s where our own takes shape.
This geographically diverse region is recognised as one of the premium wine regions in the world, drawing particular acclaim for its Sauvignon Blanc and aromatics. Its success is ode to high growing degree days (GDD), low rainfall and free draining alluvial soil, with a history dating back to 1873 when the region’s first vineyard was planted.
Sustainability is a value that sits at the heart of 3sixty2’s ethos. The land is our home, supporting and nourishing our family for generations. We cherish our deeply instilled respect for mother nature, and honour this connection through kaitiakitanga.
The natural environment plays a huge part in New Zealand’s national character, our international prestige and the lifestyle we enjoy. Hunting, fishing and farming is a huge part of our life, and we want it to be a part of our children’s future, too. As such, we believe that doing good for the land is not a choice. It’s the best way forward.
For us, this means putting in more than we take out, supporting biodiversity and continuing to seek ways to reduce our environmental impact. 3sixty2 is a certified member of Sustainable Winegrowers New Zealand (SWNZ) with an uncompromising commitment to industry best-practice.
A childhood spent on her father’s Northland farms – where cows had to be milked, bulls had to be shifted, and fences had to be built, – is where Alice developed a passion for fresh food and a love for living off the land.
Chefing, it seemed, was a logical career step: creating, tasting and sharing the food and flavours that had shaped her own world. But one thing was missing – the physical connection to the land. At Northland’s Marsden Estate, an unexpected interest in winemaking was sparked.
Rooted by heart and not by feet, she has since traveled throughout the country, to study her craft at Lincoln University, and to work alongside top performing winemakers, in leading New Zealand vineyards and wineries, across our premier wine-producing regions.
In a career that already boasts awards, accolades and mentorship from innovators and big thinkers, Alice is challenging the status quo in an industry steeped in tradition.
With a strong and tenacious heart instilled from a hard-working father who juggled raising stock with raising two daughters, a courageous, entrepreneurial head that she credits to her Dutch immigrant grandfather, imbibed through summers spent alongside him, tending to his orchard, and an innate knowledge and appreciation for nature, Alice is taking ownership of her own winemaking journey.
For more information and to purchase wine contact Alice Rule, Winemaker & Founder