The Vavasour family traces its heritage back to the Normans in England, with one of their early ancestors thought to have been a "taster" for William the Conqueror - a dangerous job to test food for possible assassination by poisoning (apparently Vladimir Putin and several recent US Presidents have employed professional 'tasters'). The Vavasour family arrived in the Awatere Valley of Marlborough in the 1890s, planting their first grapes almost 100 years later. In 2009 Vavasour was bought by American billionaire Bill Foley.
The Awatere Valley has a slightly cooler, windier and drier climate than the more famous Wairau Valley and typically the vines are grown on alluvial river gravel soils. 'The Pass' is blended from both Awatere and Wairau fruit for balance. Pale gold in the glass, a nose of lemon curd and grapefruit, savoury herbaceous flavours with a salty minerality on the finish.