The Caythorpe Story

In 1876 David Bishell travelled to New Zealand for a better life. Four years later he bought land in Marlborough, named it Caythorpe after his home village in England, and began farming.

Five generations on, Caythorpe is still proudly owned and farmed by the Bishell family. 

 

1849

David Bishell born, Caythorpe, Lincolnshire, England.

1876

1876

David & Mary Bishell immigrate to Marlborough, New Zealand.

1880

David purchases 50ha of farmland west of Blenheim township. Names it
Caythorpe as a reminder of his home village in England

1882

David becomes the first farmer in NZ to grow red clover for seed

1883

1883

David successfully grows and harvests the first cereal crops on Caythorpe

1891

1891

First Lincoln ewes purchased and formed the basis of Lincoln sheep stud

1914

1914

David served as a member on the Wairau Hospital Board (sitting, second from right)

1926

1926

Caythorpe Lincoln ewes exported to South Africa

1926

Caythorpe awarded “Best Worked Farm in Province” by Marlborough A&P Association

1941

1941

Caythorpe Homestead built

1943

80ha of neighbouring property purchased - brings Caythorpe to current farm size of 190ha

1951

1951

Wally Bishell selected to be a member of a NZ Bowlers Tour to Britain

1958

1958

Exported Caythorpe Lincoln ram bred by Wally named Champion at Royal English Show.

1972

Mervyn Bishell is approached by out of town businessmen
and an offer is made to sell Caythorpe – he declines.
The businessmen purchase neighbouring property and it becomes one of the first parcels of land in Marlborough to be planted in vines by Montana (now Brancott Estate)

1973

Murray Bishell becomes one of the first in the district to use irrigation on process vegetable crops

1984

1984

Following in the footsteps of his great grandfather,
Murray grows a record crop of red clover seed (Scott on left, Simon on right)

1985

1985

Murray purchases the first axial-flow combine in Marlborough and continues the tradition of innovation at Caythorpe.

1986

1986

The challenging economic climate brings about diversification to the traditional farming business - cherry orchard is planted

1987

1987

Murray and Diana establish the first vineyard on
Caythorpe. They plant eight hectares of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc vines, of which some are still in production today (Scott, Simon and Diana)

1988

1988

NZ Ploughing Championships are held at Caythorpe
Murray achieves the rare feat of competing in a national championship held on his own property.

1995

1995

A record crop of cherries are grown and exported to Japan.

1996

The growing success of the wine industry proves a catalyst behind vineyard expansion at Caythorpe.
Over the following 10 years vineyard area is increased and includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir.

2008

2008

Simon wins NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year

2011

2011

Area under cherry production is increased by 25%

2015

2015

First vintage of Caythorpe Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc

2017

2017

Pinot Noir and Riesling added to the portfolio. Our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc wins GOLD at the San Francisco International Wine Competition