In 1630, Hans’s ancestor Heinrich Herzog wears a ring bearing the Herzog crest when he presses it into the wax sealing an agreement to purchase a hillside vineyard towering over Switzerland’s Rhine Valley.
The Herzog’s have lived in this region for generations. First mentioned in the church almanac of 1482, they are farmers, tending their animals and modest vineyards clustered around the villages of Thal and Rheineck in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Winegrowing, then, flows deep in the blood of Hans Herzog.
Hans was born on the same land but together with Therese established their own vineyard and winery further down the Rhine river in the Zurich wine country.
From humble beginnings in the couple's garage, they became one of the foremost estates in the country. Therese, a committed epicure, ended her marketing career in 1992 to open a restaurant on the estate. She is a natural, vivacious host and people were soon queuing up to experience the combination of fine food, impeccable service, ambience and of course Hans' wines: serious, handcrafted food wines. The restaurant won high praise and a prestigious Michelin Star.
Despite their success in Switzerland, Hans still sought the ideal place to produce great Bordeaux-style wine and other varieties not possible to grow in the cooler climate of Switzerland. In pursuit of his dream to find the perfect land to grow the wines he loved, his search led him to New Zealand.
He found the perfect conditions in Marlborough and bought a precious plot of land which had originally been an apple orchard in 1994. He planted the vines in 1996 and the winery followed in 1998 for the first vintage.
And once again, Herzog Estate became one of the foremost artisan wineries producing a variety of handcrafted wines exported to the finest restaurants around the world.
Therese did not stand back and eager for a new challenge, opened "Herzog's restaurant" in March 2000 - creating the same resounding success of her Michelin starred Swiss restaurant. A means of giving others the chance to experience Herzog wines - complex, structured, yet delicate - the way there are intended: shared among friends, with fine food, in the relaxing surroundings of a roaring fire or sunny veranda.
The restaurant offers a haven of sheer indulgence overlooking the precious vineyard with a team of high calibre chefs from the best establishments in Europe, serving the finest fresh market cuisine where diners are able to taste a little of the pure passion behind Herzog wines. Following the success of the Gourmet Restaurant a Cellar Door, Bistro and Vineyard Cottage now complete the wine and food experience.
The boutique estate and restaurant is now widely acclaimed as one of the best in New Zealand.
"His methods are traditional, old-fashioned and representative of pure committed craftsmanship."
- Malcolm Gluckâ€™s Brave New World