Te Mata Estate was established in 1896 and remains family-owned, creating small batches of internationally recognised wines from their Hawkes Bay vineyards and in New Zealand’s oldest wine cellar.Te Mata Estate Winery originated as part of Te Mata Station, a large pastoral land-holding established by English immigrant John Chambers in 1854. John’s third son, Bernard, had the vision for wine production and planted vines on three of the hillsides above the homestead. By 1909, it was the largest vineyard in New Zealand, winning gold medals for its Cabernet in the ‘Imperial London Exhibition’ of that year. Te Mata Estate still utilises those original three vineyards to produce its most famous wines: Coleraine, Awatea and Elston. The Buck and Morris families acquired Te Mata Estate in 1978, and have heavily invested in the estate. Today, the estate is comprised of 250 hectares, of which 175 hectares are under vine. It has an annual production of 40,000 cases. Two-thirds of this is Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, Chardonnay and Syrah, from which the estate produces a stunning array of red and white wines. Three generations of the Buck family live and work at Te Mata Estate, headed by with Nick Buck who became CEO in 2013. Peter Cowley joined as winemaker in 1984. Under his direction, and with the help of winemakers Philip Brodie and Martyn Wallace, all winemaking techniques adhere to Te Mata’s strict policy of producing small batches of high-quality wine for selection and assembly.
“I would have no hesitation placing it within the class of Bordeaux Second Growths”
- Neal Martin, wine writer commenting on Te Mata Coleraine
Often regarded as New Zealands finest red, Te Mata’s Coleraine is the only New Zealand wine to win back-to-back 100 point scores from WineOrbit.com, with the 2013 Coleraine selling out from the winery in just ten days. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, has presented Coleraine as gifts to both Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese former President Xi Jinping. In 2015, a thirty-year vertical of Coleraine sold at auction for over £4000 - the first time that any collection of aged New Zealand wine has been sold in this way.
In March 2018 Te Mata Estate was proud to serve there wines at an exclusive dinner for former US President Barack Obama. Te Mata’s CEO Nick Buck attended the event, where Bullnose Syrah and Elston Chardonnay were poured. The wines were among a small group chosen for the event, selected to promote New Zealand’s finest.
Decanter Magazine’s New Zealand Judge, Bob Campbell, MW named Coleraine his ‘Favourite Wine of 2015’, saying of it: ‘When Coleraine was first made in 1982, it was light years ahead of any New Zealand red wine produced before that date. It has since become the country’s most iconic wine label.’ Recently Matthew Jukes of Moneyweek described Coleraine as ‘the beating heart of Hawke’s Bay in vinous form. Not just one of New Zealand’s greatest Bordeaux blends (I happen to think it’s in the No.1 spot) but one of the world’s elite versions too.’
Te Mata 'Estate Vineyards' Wines
In 2012, Te Mata Estate launched ‘Estate Vineyards’, a collection of five varietally designated wines; Merlot/Cabernet, Syrah, Gamay Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. These wines are sourced exclusively from Te Mata Estate’s top vineyards and blended by the same Te Mata team, to represent the pinacle of variety, vintage, and Hawke’s Bay origin.
Te Mata is widely known for its Syrah, Viognier, Chardonnay and barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc Cape Crest (described as ‘one of the world’s finest’ by Australian wine critic Lester Jesberg). However, they are most often regarded as the producer of New Zealand’s finest red.