Te Mata Estate is New Zealand's oldest wine estate with over 120 years of grape-growing and wine production in the same barrel halls and vineyards – all situated exclusively within the dry, maritime, climate of Hawke’s Bay - on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
In 1892 cabernet, merlot, chardonnay and pinot noir were planted in Te Mata vineyards, with the first vintage released in 1896. By 1907 Te Mata was winning gold medals internationally for the chardonnays and cabernets grown on the Havelock Hills property.
By 1909 Te Mata was New Zealand’s largest winery.
Under the Buck and Morris families, Te Mata has also been a leading force at the forefront of the modernization of the New Zealand wine industry for the past 40 years.
In 1994 Te Mata Estate introduced viognier to New Zealand, pioneered gamay noir, and have the second-oldest planting of syrah in the country.
Today Te Mata Estate produces 30,000 cases and is run by a senior management team as well as the next generations of the Buck family.
Chairman John Buck O.B.E. was Chairman of the Wine Institute of New Zealand, a member of the NZ Wine Hall of Fame, and also long-time judge of New Zealand’s wine awards. He handed over the day-to-day running of the winery to his Nick Buck in 2012.
A wine-growing family first, this second generation also each have diverse interests within the business; Jonathan Buck is a Vineyard Manager, Nick Buck the CEO and Tobias Buck is Sales and Marketing Manager.
Zara, Thomas and Henry Buck - the third generation of the family - now also work at the winery.
Te Mata Estate uses 30 parcels of land across nine vineyard sites with subtle differences in aspect, climate and soil types; clay, limestone, loess, sandstone hills, red metal gravel, and alluvial river terraces all within Hawke’s Bay.
Winery staff live on these vineyards and the sites are all owned and directly-managed by the estate.
Only the top fruit is used for Te Mata’s wines, which are hand-harvested, hand-sorted, and – unlike most New Zealand wineries – also then bottled and labelled on site, ready for export.
The winery itself is situated in the north-facing, elevated slopes of the Te Mata Special Character Zone – the first vineyard heritage site in New Zealand to be legally protected for its viticultural history.
Acknowledged by Robert Parker as one of only five ‘Icon Wineries of New Zealand’, Te Mata produces a stunning array of red and white wines including such famous labels as Coleraine and Awatea Cabernet/Merlots, Bullnose Syrah, Elston Chardonnay and Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc. Te Mata's flagship wine 'Coleraine' is regarded by many as New Zealand's finest red wine, and named after the Buck family’s ancestral home in Northern Ireland. First made in 1982, Coleraine created an instant sensation within New Zealand for its quality.
Originally a single vineyard wine, from 1989 Coleraine has been an assemblage of the finest cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc wines from across Te Mata’s Hawke’s Bay vineyards. When released, Coleraine is available on March 1 and usually sells out within days.
In 2016 a thirty-year vertical collection of Coleraine sold at auction for over $5,000 NZD. It is the first time any collection of aged New Zealand wine has been sold in this way.
Te Mata Estate wines are currently available in 45 countries including China, UAE and the USA.
Things to Do
- Talk a walk on Te Mata Peak
- New Zealand’s top three 2017 Cuisine Magazine category-winning restaurants are all in Hawke’s Bay: Pacifica, Malo, and Bistronomy
- New Zealand’s largest and busiest Farmers Market every Sunday, grab coffee and breakfast on site
- Napier’s Art Deco Street Festival attracts around 30,000 global visitors every year
- Grab a blanket and a glass of chardonnay and enjoy a summer evening at the Outdoor Cinema in the middle of the Te Mata Character Zone