David Bishell immigrated to New Zealand in 1876 with his wife Mary and four young children in search of a better life.
In 1880 he purchased 50 hectares of farmland west of Blenheim and named it Caythorpe after his home village in Lincolnshire, England. The land was unproductive and covered in flax, but David saw the potential and set about clearing the property, allowing him to grow food crops and establish the first chapter of the rich history that is Caythorpe Family Estate.
Five generations later and still 100% family owned, Caythorpe represents the very best of Marlborough. It is still a working farm but with diversification into horticulture and winemaking, we strive to continue our commitment to innovative and sustainable production processes, while producing a range of super-premium products.
David Bishell born, Caythorpe, Lincolnshire, England.
David & Mary Bishell immigrate to Marlborough, New Zealand.
David purchases 50ha of farmland west of Blenheim township. Names it Caythorpe as a reminder of his home village in England.
David becomes the first farmer in NZ to grow red clover for seed.
David successfully grows and harvests the first cereal crops on Caythorpe.
First Lincoln ewes purchased and formed the basis of Lincoln sheep stud. This image of David features on our wine labels.
David served as a member on the Wairau Hospital Board (sitting, second from right).
Caythorpe Lincoln ewes exported to South Africa
Caythorpe awarded "Best Worked Farm in Province" by Marlborough A&P Association.
Caythorpe Homestead built.
80ha of neighbouring property purchased - brings Caythorpe to current farm size of 190ha.
Walter Bishell (2nd generation) selected to be a member of a NZ Bowlers Tour to Britain.
Exported Caythorpe Lincoln ram bred by Wally named Champion at Royal English Show.
Mervyn Bishell (3rd generation) 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).
Murray Bishell (4th generation) becomes one of the first in the district to use irrigation on process vegetable crops.
Following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, Murray grows a record crop of red clover seed (Scott and Simon - 5th generation).
Murray purchases the first axial-flow combine in Marlborough and continues the tradition of innovation at Caythorpe.
The challenging economic climate brings about diversification to the traditional farming business - cherry orchard is planted.
Murray and Diana establish the first vineyard on Caythorpe. They plant eight hectares of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc vines (Scott, Simon and Diana).
NZ Ploughing Championships are held at Caythorpe Murray achieves the rare feat of competing in a national championship held on his own property.
A record crop of cherries are grown and exported to Japan.
The growing success of the wine industry proves a catalyst behind vineyard expansion at Caythorpe. Over the following 10 years vineyard area is increased to also include Chardonnay and Riesling.
Simon wins NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year.
Area under cherry production is increased by 25%.
First vintage of Caythorpe Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc.
Caythorpe Family Estate 2016 Sauvignon Blanc wins GOLD at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.