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MATAWHERO

Matawhero has been part of Gisborne’s vinous landscape since 1968, when it was established by the late Bill Irwin to supply grapes to the local winemakers. Bill was a visionary who defied the conventional thinking of the time. He pioneered the introduction of new varieties and clones to the country, and in doing so changed the face of Kiwi winemaking.
In the 1970s Bill’s son, Denis, launched the Matawhero brand, using some of his father’s grapes and imparting his own colourful style to pro-duce a selection of excellent and distinctive wines. His Gewürztraminer won international acclaim, ending up in Buckingham Palace to be sipped by the Royal Lips. When, in 2008, Denis decided to sell Matawhero, local winegrowers Richard and Kirsten Searle grabbed the opportunity and purchased the iconic winery. The Searles have revitalised the operation. The home vineyard has been replanted with new clones, along with a number of exciting new varieties, and the production facilities were upgraded.
Kirsten Searle puts it thus: 'Like the Irwins, who passed on a heritage of innovation, we strive to produce individual wines that are shining examples of their Gisborne terroir. Our passion is to produce distinctive single vineyard wines that reflect our unique Gisborne terroir.'
LOCATION
Gisborne, New Zealand
VARIETIES PLANTED
Albarino, Pinot Gris, Pinot Rose, Merlot, Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, Gruner Veltliner, Malbec, Arneis, Chenin Blanc
CELLAR DOOR HOURS
Closed for Winter.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Gold Medal Winner
The Glengarry Top 10
Trophy Winner
Vegan Friendly Wines

Richard and Kirsten Searle

In many ways the story of the Searle family mirrors that of the origins of Matawhero... Father Philip, an electrician by trade and a bakery owner to earn a crust, uproots his family to become a man of the land. The Brunton Road block is bought, cropped and then planted in grapes. Young(ish) son Richard, having had enough of the good life in London, decides to return to NZ to marry an Aussie, Kirsten, who just happens to work for Villa Maria. They return to Gisborne with dreams of transforming a fabulous vineyard into a world class wine producer and thus Brunton Road was born. After 5 years cutting their teeth in the wine trade, establishing a label from scratch, an opportunity arises that is simply too irresistible to refuse. Matawhero is for sale! For all its heritage status within the NZ wine industry, Matawhero represents an enormous challenge. The roof in the home leaks into buckets strategically placed throughout the bedrooms, and the vineyard and surrounding property looks like something from the Lost World - and we haven't even mentioned the winery. Enter negotiations with Matawhero icon, Denis Irwin. Torn between parting with his baby of 30 years, and the excitement of seeing it passed to something other than a corporate brand portfolio, Denis opts for the later and wills us on. So Richard and Kirsten, with young family of three children under 5 years old, move to Matawhero with a priority list reading; 1) Fix the house, then 2) re-establish the vineyard, then 3) Produce and relaunch the wine. As we say, the rest is history...

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TASTINGS & EVENTS YOU MIGHT LIKE

WESTMERE WINE CLUB | A DINNER WITH KIRSTEN FROM MATAWHERO

This month we are excited to host our special guest from Matawhero, Kirsten Searle. We thought, as we are coming into summer, we will take you through a range of aromatics and whites paired with dishes we think you'll really enjoy prepared by our own team of foodies at Westmere. In an intimate setting, upstairs in our tasting room, this is not to be missed but with limited seats available you must get in quick!
When  |  7:00pm Wednesday 15 November
Where  |  Glengarry Westmere, 164 Garnet Road, Westmere
Price  |  $40.00
BUY TICKET

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