Kaituna Valley
Grant’s fascination with wine hatched while working as a soil scientist in Gisborne. He was seconded into verifying the quality of some of his workmate’s vinous homebrew.

His earliest recollection of a truly “tasty” bottle was a Bordeaux, a Moulin des Carruades (the second label of the famous first growth producer Château Lafite Rothschild). He thought “wow”, this is yummy and he was hooked!

Meanwhile, Helen was studying for her PhD in Plant Pathology at Lincoln University and making occasional forays to Gisborne, usually when exams were coming up. Grant returned to Lincoln University to be with Helen and began a PhD in Crop Modelling. But the lure of making wine (or should that read “imbibing” wine) was too strong so Grant completed the Post-Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology instead (…ooops!).

Our search for suitable vineyard sites has seen us become intimate with most secluded valleys on Banks Peninsula, the limestone hills of Waipara and Waikari and the sub-regions of Marlborough. In the end we were fortunate enough to purchase three properties which we believed would allow us to pursue our winemaking dreams. Along the way we also developed a successful grapevine propagation nursery at Ashburton that provided cash flow and grafted, high-health vines for the vineyards.

A whole heap of people have helped throughout and we couldn’t have done this without them – especially wine drinkers and buyers! Thanks also to family, friends and fellow winemakers for help, advice (solicited or not) and inspiration (often over some serious bottles of wine). At times it has been frighteningly hard work – it still is! It is always challenging and stimulating. We’ve had a lot of fun and some great successes along the way. We hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as us and continue to do so.

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