Down Central Hawke’s Bay Way…
Newspaper article by Yvonne Lorkin featured in Hawke's Bay Today, Bay of Plenty Times, Manawatu Evening Standard, Wairarapa Times Age December 2009
Tales of Mangaorapa Station in Southern Central Hawke’s Bay stretch back to the first half of last century where it began as 800 hectares of marginal, scrub-covered farmland near the Porangahau coast which quickly grew to over 2500 ha to become known as one of New Zealand’s finest and most productive agricultural properties.
A spirit of thinking big, working hard and being innovative is what drove two generations of the Mouat family to achieve what many thought was impossible. Where commercially available ploughs couldn’t clear the scrub, they built their own. When the woolshed couldn’t cope with the thousands of sheep to be shorn, they designed a handling system which later became the industry standard. And when the property became so vast that men on horseback weren’t able to work efficiently – they built a road system and formed their own transport business. And for those of you who check these things– I have indeed copied much of that directly from their website because I couldn’t have described it better myself.
That history of making the best of what you’ve got led owners Bill and Johanna Mouat to section off a 16.5ha block of deep river terrace and turn it into a vineyard. The unique thing about their vineyard is that it’s filled with argillite shale “The exciting thing is that the tests show the argillite terrace is at least 40 metres deep” says Bill Mouat, “which means the roots of our vines have almost limitless potential”. Clearly they’re doing something right because in their first year of commercial production, their 2007 and 2008 Pinot Noir and 2008 Sauvignon Blanc walked away with medals at the 2009 Hawke’s Bay A&P Mercedes-Benz Wine Awards “It’s really promoted our confidence in taking the wine to market” says Johanna, “We’re also in the unique position of being Hawke’s Bay’s southernmost vineyard and we’ve developed steadily with much input from a dedicated team, including Trinity Hill Winery, to finally claim some recognition as an area with great potential for fine, cool-climate wines.