Ataahua is a Māori word. It translates as ‘beauty’, ‘beautiful’ or ‘lovely’. An accurate description of every component that makes up Ataahua Wine: from the rural vineyard nestled in the Waipara Valley to the gentle, natural winemaking processes and of course, the look, aroma and taste of the finished product.
First planted in Church Road in the 1980s, the original Ataahua vineyard is one of the oldest in the region. The ‘90s saw new owners Andrew Grant and Stephanie Henderson-Grant come on board, bringing with them years of winemaking knowledge and passion. Expansion followed, and a move to larger, well-established vineyard on Mackenzies Road, allowing for more varieties to be added. The Ataahua range now includes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Syrah from their own vines, plus Merlot, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer with grapes from nearby vineyards.
The process of winemaking is a thing of beauty at Ataahua, with a philosophy of care from harvesting to handling to the winery. “The aim is to translate and express the beauty of the vineyard and the area into wines that people can relate to and absolutely enjoy,” explains Stephanie.
And enjoy they do. Ataahua Wine is now found on restaurant menus from Canterbury to Auckland and boasts a bevy of star ratings from top NZ judges.
Keep an eye on this boutique winery in Waipara as they continue to turn out wine that is beautiful in every way.
Why North Canterbury? The limestone and clay soils that are ideal for winegrape production, and the climate to grow and ripen the fruit primarily. Then there’s the proximity to Christchurch and everything it has to offer and of course the obvious, the beauty of North Canterbury with an enormous sky and such variety of landscape from ocean to mountains.
What is your favourite thing to do in North Canterbury? Explore the tracks and trails with a backpack picnic of delicious locally sourced and produced wine and food.
Name your top three North Canterbury food and beverage brands (other than your own of course!): Only 3?? I’ll have to mull on this…