Eric and Sandra purchased the land and began developing a lifestyle block in 2000. Starting with windbreak of Pittosporums around the boundary of the property.
Eric completed a diploma course in Viticulture with the Eastern Institute of technology in Hastings, which was truly a great way to be able to taste a wide range of wines, and learn from the many other students working in the industry on the course, along with gaining knowledge about growing grapes and making wine.
Then in 2003, after putting up an implement shed, Eric and Sandra started planting grapes; originally with Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin. Both of which were subsequently replaced with other varieties.
In 2005 Eric and Sandra commenced building their home and cellar door, which opened for business in 2007, when Eric and Sandra had their first labeled wine, a Pinotage. This wine has since gained a silver medal in the Upper North Island Wine Awards.
In order to be sustainable and create biodiversity, Eric and Sandra have planted tens of thousands of native trees. In one particular area of about 2 hectares there is a QEII covenant protecting them, and so all the Totara, Rimu, Kauri, Puriri, and many others are now safe into the future. There is a walkway through the bush to the waterfall on the Waitapu stream, not for the unfit though!
Eric and Sandra have now also planted Sangiovase and Tempranillo, and Chambourcin again, but their main varieties are still Syrah and Pinotage.
In total there is about two hectares of grapes and all work is completed by hand although they do use a tractor sprayer. NZ Wine have granted Eric and Sandra a sustainable growing certification in 2012/13, and they use particular sprays and methods to maintain that certification. It involves a whole regimen of practices which enables them to have minimal impact on the ecology of their property as possible.
Eric and Sandra are proud to be founder members of the Northland Wine growers Association, and enjoy the support of a wide range of viticulturists and winemakers.
They are both very passionate about wine and their beautiful vineyard and surroundings.