William was not successful in his search for gold and decided to turn to his skill and craft in farming, purchasing some fine land in Marlborough. Here he worked the land planting crops and herding livestock.
After passing away at the ripe age of 76 years he was acknowledged to be a Son of the Soil and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, passing down the love of the land through four generations of Jones’s. The family expanded their land ownership in the Wairau Valley and in 1992 purchased the long established Starborough homestead in the Awatere Valley.
Starborough was the second sheep run established on the south side of the Awatere River in 1849. At one stage the property covered 35,000 acres and included the area which is now occupied by the Seddon township. Their plan was for arable cropping on the flat land beneath golden hills, where paddocks were the norm and vineyards a rare exception.
But in the years since, the Awatere Valley has proved to be a remarkable seam of Marlborough’s story, producing wines unlike those grown anywhere else in the world. When the opportunity arose to plant vines the name Starborough was embellished. The homestead and its traditions symbolise the heritage and values of the four generations of Jones’s who have made Marlborough their home.
Today, Starborough wines is a 100% family owned and run Estate, James and Andrew now share the task of caring for the land and soils.
“William sought gold, we think of ourselves as Sons of the Soil, just as our great grandfather was. We work hands-on to nurture our Wairau and Awatere Valley vineyards, knowing the real gold was the land all along.”