Industry News

Matawhero Rising

Located on New Zealand's most Easterly tip, Matawhero is one of the first vineyards in the world to greet each new day

“At Matawhero our passion is to produce distinctive single vineyard wines that reflect our unique Gisborne terroir.” – Kirsten Searle, owner and passionate vintner, Matawhero Wines

Matawhero (pronounced MATA-FEAR-O) has a long and colourful history in the New Zealand wine industry.

Established in 1968 by Bill Irwin, Matawhero Wines defied convention and made wines of boutique standing and international acclaim and in doing so, changed the face of New Zealand winemaking forever. Since its first vintage in 1975, Matawhero has produced many excellent and often adventurous wines. Following in Bill's pioneering footsteps, son Denis imparted his own colourful style and won fame for his Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer – everyone was drinking it, even the Queen.

In 2008, the iconic Gisborne winery was purchased from Denis, by Richard and Kirsten Searle. Denis himself was excited to see the brand and winery passed onto a young family with drive and determination to write another chapter in the Matawhero story rather than passed onto a corporate. Kirsten Searle comments, “Our passion was to revive and restore the winery to its former glory and showcase Gisborne as a wonderful wine producing region.  The kudos we feel it deserves but does not always receive.”

Gisborne’s vineyards are the first to see the sun and greet the new day. “Out on the most easterly tip of New Zealand’s North Island, our region revels in a classic pacific coast climate. We are blessed with a warm climate (with some of the highest sunshine hours in the country), deep rich fertile soils and cooling sea breezes which help retain natural acidity in our full-bodied wines,” comments Searle.  “We pride ourselves in growing the best fruit we can to truly showcase the unique terroir of Gisborne.”

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