Aronui Wines has just celebrated ten years since its first vine plantings at its Whenua Matua vineyard in Upper Moutere, Nelson. These clay soils have played a significant part in establishing the region as a premium area for aromatic wines, so it was a great testimony to those involved in the establishment of these vineyards when Aronui Wines was awarded the Trophy for Champion Pinot Gris at the Royal Easter Wine Show Awards on Saturday night.
The Aronui Single Vineyard Nelson Pinot Gris 2014 has been awarded five gold medals in the short time since its release, and has become winemaker Bruce Taylor’s most awarded wine in his career. “We had a really good growing season in 2014 and were quite confident that this was going to be a great wine. It’s nice to see the rewards coming after a few years of making this pinot gris, as we gain a better understanding of the style that suits our Whenua Matua vineyard. The lusciousness and nice natural acidity have come about as the vines age, and we have also gained better control over the winemaking process with a stable winemaking team and our own winery.” Bruce Taylor, Chief Winemaker.
Whenua Matua Vineyard Manager, Jonny Hiscox was present at the award ceremony on Saturday, and honoured the heritage of this Maori owned wine company by delivering his acceptance speech in Te Reo. “Terry Dunleavy, the Grand Old Man of the New Zealand wine industry, got up to specifically say that it was the first time a trophy had been accepted in Te Reo, and how great that was,” Mike Brown, GM Sales & Marketing, Kono NZ.
The land that the Whenua Matua vineyard is planted on is on Tenths Reserves. A key component of the New Zealand Company colonisation scheme (1841) was the obligation to reserve one-tenth of all land purchased for the future prosperity of the Maori owners. Although this was not honoured at the time, the land lease was re-acquired by Wakatu Incorporation for the purpose of planting this very successful vineyard.