Ohau wines



NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group



Does a single winery make a new wine region? Ōhau Wines believes it does — making this wine region New Zealand's most recent. The vineyard is the only one in Horowhenua, and the most southern on the North Island's west coast, taking advantage of the fertile gravels left behind by the once-wide, glacial Ōhau River. The first vines were planted in 2006 and cover 40ha both sides of SH1 at Ōhau, south of Levin. The vineyard produces pinot gris, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc in still and sparkling styles under four labels: Ōhau Gravels, Woven Stone, Not the Norm (for restaurants) and Spicer Brothers. Like a mother quizzed to pick her favourite child, chief executive Donna Riley can't tip a glass to her favourite wine. But the Spicer Brothers label has her heart; it is a tribute to her two sons, Rohan and Oliver. Both boys worked on the vineyard, but Rohan died aged 19, and the same year Oliver developed a chronic illness. “Each bottle comes with one of 12 positive messages around its neck, all aimed at helping people remember that they're drinking a lovely bottle of wine, with some good friends, and really, life probably isn't that bad. Let's just enjoy what we have.” Ōhau Wine's cellar door is open every day from September to March but closed on the weekends April to August. 6 Bishops Road, Ōhau. (06) 367 5051, ohauwines.co.nz