Even the most celebrated winemakers will confess that a great wine is created long before their influence. It's with that notion that the Matawhero winemaking team take as little intervention as possible, allowing the fruit flavours established in the vineyard to come through in an unadulterated fashion. Where style permits, we allow the wines to ferment naturally without inoculation, without disguise of the natural local terroir expression.
All the Matawhero wines are made in Gisborne's state of the art Gisvin contract winemaking facility, which gives us great control and quality over the wine we produce.
The long term aspiration of the winemaking team is to re-establish the iconic reputation of Matawhero, and showcase Gisborne for what it is, a ‘difficult child', but when harnessed properly, a fantastic grape growing region.
Jeremy Hyland started his career at Corbans in Gisborne in the early 1990's under the tutelage of Ivan Marinovich and has been intrinsically involved in Gisborne viticulture since that time. He was Head Viticulturist at Kim Crawford Wines from 2004 to 2007, and now consults to Astrolabe, Jules Taylor, Eradus and Matawhero vineyards. Advocates will say that Jeremy is the best viticulturalist in the country, largely due to his ability to provide the desired fruit flavours to the winemaker through intelligent vineyard management techniques.
Gisborne, as a growing region has always been challenging. Due to the unique climate and terroir, most Gisborne vines are dry grown in location. The resulting vines are more in tune with nature, rather than hydroponically disassociated.
Jeremy comments, "We aim for a canopy balance to ensure a long slow ripening period which maximises the flavour potential. Depending on the variety, we source from different vineyards around Gisborne which allows us to express the best of our region. Our Chardonnays are from the famous Tietjen vineyard on the 'Golden Slopes' Gewurztraminer from our home Matawhero vineyard, the first vineyard in New Zealand to plant the variety.
All the Matawhero grapes are selected and harvested on a flavour basis with the idea of the finished wine profile in the minds of the winemaking and viticultural team when the picking decision is made.