Matariki is a time of rest and reflection, and what better way to kick back and take stock than with some drops from the world’s first Māori-owned wine brand
MATARITKI AND WINE
Matariki is a time for whānau and friends to come together to celebrate the rising of the Matariki star cluster which indicates the beginning of Te Tau Hou, the Māori New Year. Matariki is a time of reflection, rest and contemplation, says Mondo Kopua, Awatere Valley Vineyard Manager for Tohu Wines, the world’s first Māori-owned wine label. “For me it represents a time of the year when the land is resting and healing. It’s a time when we are doing soil samples in the vineyard, analysing the state of its health and wellbeing, and looking at putting fertilisers back in, nurturing Papatūānuku again, and getting ready in advance for the new season.”
CREATE A MATARIKI CELEBRATION
Outside the winery, for all of us Matariki is a great time for winter gatherings with friends and whānau over great kai and award-winning New Zealand wines, so grab your nearest and dearest and prepare the following for a shared lunch or dinner…
Put on a spread of sustainably-harvested kaimoana like fresh fish, Marlborough Greenshell mussels, and oysters which are available from March till August, plus in-season vegetables like watercress, root veggies and fennel. Poach winter fruits like rhubarb and tamarillo in red wine, vanilla pod and brown sugar, and serve them with heaping dollops of whipped cream or ice cream.
All of the above foods will pair beautifully with New Zealand’s star wine varietals, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir – the perfect celebration of the fruits of past harvests. Here are our top picks from Tohu’s Awatere Valley…
TOHU SINGLE VINEYARD MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC
Sourced from a single vineyard in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley, this is a crisp and dry sauvignon blanc with vibrant aromas of fresh citrus, currant leaf, herbal notes, and flavours of green apple, pink grapefruit, sweet lime, capsicum, zesty minerality. RRP$17.99 at Liquorland
TOHU SINGLE VINEYARD MARLBOROUGH PINOT NOIR
Again, sourced from a single vineyard in the Awatere Valley, this aromatic and richly textured pinot noir has bright aromas of cherry, plum, wild thyme and floral notes, and rich flavours of ripe red and dark fruit, spice, dried herbs and french oak. RRP$24.99 at Liquorland
In 1998 Wakatū Incorporation launched Tohu Wines – the world’s first Māori-owned wine label. Tohu has come a long way – from producing 3,200 cases of wine back then to over 220,000 cases in 2018, and winning multiple awards along the way. What hasn’t changed is their commitment to creating quality wines reflecting the unique characteristics of their vineyards. The approach Tohu takes to winemaking includes a commitment to upholding deeply held values, showing kindness to place and people.
Every Tohu bottle carries a distinctive koru-inspired logo. For Māori, the koru symbolises growth, life and the natural world, and the Tohu logo celebrates this iconic spiral. It represents the growth of the company and the journey of their people from the past to today.
Tohu Wines believes it has a responsibility to uphold the legacy of its owners, whose tūpuna (ancestors) were kaitiaki or guardians of whenua and moana (land and sea) – farmers, fishermen, planters and purveyors. Their participation in the wine industry reinforces their values and vision for the future. Today Tohu creates internationally recognised award-winning wines while remaining true to these deeply held values, which encompass rangatiratanga, manaakitanga and hihiko – excellence, kindness and innovation.