Te Mata Estate

Established in 1896, Te Mata Estate had a second wind when Michael Morris and John Buck teamed up to buy the property in 1974. With Buck's experience in the UK wine trade and exposure to the great wines of the world, especially Bordeaux, they set about making their own piece of history in Havelock North. These days the operation is run by John Buck's sons, Nicholas Buck being CEO and his brother Toby having recently rejoined the business.

Te Mata is a family-owned property that grows a lot more wine than it bottles itself, and only bottles the finest portions under its own label. At harvest, they take the bottom 70% of their production and sell them off as grapes. The remaining 30% goes into their winery… from which they only use the first press (free run) juice – the pressings are sold off. Post fermentation they make further selections, with more juice sold off as bottled wine to other producers (many of which you probably know and enjoy).

By this time, they’ve whittled their selections to just 10% of what they originally grew, and only then is it being considered to wear the Te Mata label. The finest blends become Showcase wines (Coleraine, Elston, Bullnose etc) while the remainder goes into the wondrous bargains that wear the Estate label. It's this strict control that makes Te Mata arguably New Zealand's finest winery and justifies its exalted position in both international and the domestic markets.

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