Long before Marlborough and Central Otago had been established as winegrowing regions, Gisborne had, thanks to the efforts of the Irwin family at Matawhero, already gained an international winemaking reputation. In the 1960s, the late Bill Irwin established Matawhero vineyards to supply contract grapes to local wineries. The visionary Irwin was instrumental in introducing new varieties to New Zealand that changed the countrys viticultural landscape forever.
In the 1970s, Bills son, Denis, launched the Matawhero brand using some of his fathers grapes, and rapidly gained national and international attention for his Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer wines. Even Buckingham Palace was in on the consumption of the Matawhero product. Denis released his last labelled vintage in 1999. In 2008, Richard and Kirsten Searle purchased Matawhero, revitalising the operation by replanting with new clones and varieties, and sourcing additional grapes from selected growers.
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.
Since the Searles involvement, Matawhero has earned a hoard of top awards and re-established itself as one of this countrys most exciting wineries.
Gisborne, New Zealand
Albarino, Pinot Gris, Pinot Rose, Merlot, Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, Gruner Veltliner, Malbec, Arneis, Chenin Blanc
CELLAR DOOR HOURS
Closed for Winter.