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Pioneering Marlborough winemaking family celebrate 40-year milestone

The idea of drinking New Zealand-made bubbles was once thought of as impossible. That was until Frenchman Daniel Le Brun arrived in Marlborough 40 years ago and an industry was born.

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The idea of drinking New Zealand-made bubbles was once thought of as impossible. Source: 1 NEWS

Now, his family is celebrating the special anniversary milestone despite the scepticism along the way.

Le Brun says he has been told it was too cold and dry in Marlborough.

There was barely a wine in sight when he came along, but the 12th generation winemaker was determined to prove them wrong.

"His vision was to see Marlborough as the champagne of the antipodes," Le Brun's wife Adele said.

So the pioneering winemaker created the country's first underground cellar and shipped a champagne press from France.

His children are now following in his footsteps, involved in the business too.

"Our family doesn't just make a good sparkling wine, we actually make phenomenal sparkling wine," sales director Virginie Le Brun said.

The world agrees. Over the years, the Le Brun family has collected countless accolades for their wine.