William Jones a ploughman from Hereford, set sail in 1864 on board the good ship Eagle Speed leaving England for New Zealand in search of adventure and opportunity. During the journey he heard of riches made in the gold fields on the West Coast and caught ‘the gold fever’!
After making the long journey to the West Coast William didn’t find the riches he was hoping for 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 enjoying the fruits of his labour that his land provided with his family.
After passing away at the age of 76 William was acknowledged to be a Son of the Soil. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree with his love of the land being passed 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.
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 and create wines the name Starborough was embraced, with the homestead and its traditions symbolising 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 from bud to bottle.
“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.”