October 1, 2018
November 30, 2018
July 21-22, 2019
The moment you step on Wairarapa soil your heart starts to beat to a calmer rhythm, time slows down enough for you to catch your breath, drink in the spectacular scenery that surrounds you and you feel your body start to relax.
Matahiwi Estate is located in the very heart of the Wairarapa and they pride themselves on being an award-winning family-owned winery. They have adopted an extensive hands-on approach to their wine-making in line with those used by the finest international wine producers whilst utilising the latest developments in technology.
Romeo Bragato, an Italian viticulturist & oenologist, was contracted by New Zealand’s Department of Agriculture in 1895 to advise on planting & pruning vines in New Zealand, from which he reported the ideal growing conditions that the Wairarapa & other regions in New Zealand offered potential grape growers.
French wife of early settler, William Beetham, was so inspired by their region when she left her Burgundian homeland to live in New Zealand,1880s and produced the region’s first Pinot Noir vintage in 1897. Prohibition came into force in the early 1900’s which saw an end to winemaking in the region.
Matahiwi Estate adopted the mythical sacred firebird, the Phoenix, which has long been seen as a symbol of renewal as their logo. The Matahiwi Phoenix symbolises the rebirth of winemaking in the area for the first time since prohibition.
Alastair had a life-long dream to own his own winery and produce award-winning New Zealand wines. On returning home from working and living overseas, he made that dream a reality.
Alastair has fond memories of the Wairarapa from his childhood, and so there was no question where he would begin his search for the best area to produce world class Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
Alastair’s passion to produce award-winning wines that capture the characters and flavours of the Wairarapa is now his business. Alastair is involved in the winery’s strategic development and shares a hands-on role in expanding the export markets.
“Matahiwi Estate dreamt about owning their own vineyard – they now dream about sharing that vineyard’s wines with the world. Their team would like to work with buyers to market Matahiwi Estate’s wines home and abroad.”
HOLLY PINOT NOIR 2017
This attractive, soft Pinot Noir shows dark plum and cherry flavours with fragrant fresh hay and cedary oak characters. On the palate, the vibrant cherry flavours come through with a hint of spicy toasty oak and velvety tannins.
The Holly Pinot Noir is chosen in the vineyard to provide some of our best fruit. The Matahiwi vineyard is planted in several combinations of rootstock and Pinot Noir clones. For this Pinot Noir, we used the clones of 667, 5, 777, Abel and 113. In the final blend, each clone adds their own character and complexity. The vintage was excellent with warm weather during flowering and a long dry summer with hot days and cool nights - perfect Pinot Noir ripening conditions. This resulted in vines with a balanced crop load and the fruit achieving ideal ripeness. The vineyard blocks selected for the Holly Pinot Noir recieve additional attention during the growing season with alot of leaf plucking and shoot positioning done by hand to expose the fruit and ensure optimum ripeness in Matahiwi Estate Winery.
In the winery the different batches of fruit are processed separately so that we can see the individual characters on their own. We then add further complexities by incorporating different techniques and yeast combinations. The grapes are cold soaked for between five to seven days and then fermented at about 28-32C. If the fruit is in very good condition still we allow up to 21 days post-ferment on skins before the grapes are pressed off and malolactic fermentation is completed in the tank. The wine is matured in French oak barrels (about 35 per cent are new) for 10 months. The barrels are then each individually tasted before the final blend is confirmed.
The Holly wines are the flagship range for Matahiwi and are named after the owner's daughter. We are trying to achieve balance with this wine between maintaining the pure Sauvignon fruit vibrancy and building in complex yeast and barrel derived flavours. Lime skin and elderflower aromas along with a mineral, crushed stone note, marry with nutty yeasty characters and a savoury edge. While this wine is ready to drink now, it can be cellared for up to four years. We enjoy this wine with freshly smoked white-fleshed fish served on crostini or try with a leek and pecorino tart.
The fruit for this wine is sourced from our home vineyard at Opaki in the Wairarapa. These blocks receive special care during the season with shoot thinning, bunch thinning and hand leaf plucking to ensure a small and intense crop of premium grapes. Absolute commitment to physiological ripeness is crucial.
The focus in the winery is to capture the pure fruit flavours that come from supremely ripe fruit, whilst adding complexity through barrel fermentation, use of wild yeasts (yeast that come in on the grapes from the vineyard) and lees stirring. The wine remains in the barrel on yeast for 10 months to give weight and complexity.
Sourced from a single vineyard in Hawkes Bay, this is a rich, barrel fermented Chardonnay with the accent on complexity and fruit weight. Ripe stonefruit and citrus aromas combine with hints of toasty oak, leading to a silky and elegant finish. Perfect with seafood or pasta made with rich, cream-based sauces or with roasted chicken. Already enjoyable, this wine will continue to improve over the next 3 to 7 years.
The fruit for this wine was sourced from a single vineyard in the upper reaches of the Dartmoor Valley in Hawkes Bay. The vineyard is planted in several different clones of Chardonnay, and features free-draining stony silt loams. The crop levels were kept very low and exposed to the sunshine to ensure even ripening and flavour development.
The fruit for this wine was pressed straight after picking, with the juice then being transferred for fermentation into French oak barrels, with 35% new oak, using a mix of cultured and wild yeasts. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was left on lees in barrel for 11 months to promote texture and mouthfeel.