4 Apr 2013

Marlborough Maori wine company reports excellent season

8:18 am on 4 April 2013

A Maori-owned wine company says the big dry spell means it will be in for a bumper harvest and 2013 could be one of its best vintage years.

Tohu Wines is part of the Wakatu Incorporation and has vineyards in Marlborough and Nelson - regions which have not been affected by the drought.

The chief executive of Kono Beverages which operates Tohu Wines, Mike Brown, says while farmers in the North Island have been set back by the drought, the production of wine is overflowing.

He says the dry weather is ideal for growing grapes as it minimises the risk of some diseases and concentrates flavours in the grapes.

Mr Brown says viticulturists, particularly in the top of the South Island, were the one growing-sector not complaining about the dry weather.

He says unlike Gisborne and Hawke's Bay which have finished harvesting grapes, Marlborough and Nelson have just started.

Mr Brown says for the next three weeks it will be a congested harvest, as they start producing chardonnay grapes for champagne based and sparkling wines, and early pinot noir to produce a rosé.

Tohu Wines confident of competition success

Last year Tohu Wines won the gold medal in the New Zealand International Wine Show for its sauvignon blanc and three gold medals in 2011 for its pinot noir.

It was also awarded a double gold medal at the 2011 San Francisco Wine Show and numerous other awards.

Mr Brown says the premium conditions bode well for adding to the total of 14 gold medals it won last year.