The world is beautiful to look at, but even more beautiful to understand.
- Professor Brian Cox
We are located beside the mountainous spine of the south island of New Zealand. Maori Point is surrounded by mountains, snow-covered in winter (and often through summer). Our soil is wind-blown loess over deep deposits of large boulders left at the foot of the Hawea glacier, 10,000 years ago. It is free-draining and low in organic matter, ideal for Pinot Noir. Our grapes and wines are influenced by the schist-based soils, by the intensity of our sunlight (particularly in the ultraviolet spectrum), by the cool nights and highly variable weather of this sub-alpine environment, and by the unique microflora that thrive in this particular ecosystem.
We are scientists. Dr. John Harris and Dr. Marilyn Duxson are career scientists and held positions at UCSF, Harvard, and universities in Britain, France, Japan and New Zealand. Educated at Princeton and UC Berkeley, our winemaker Matt Evans escaped from silicon valley tech start-ups to begin working at Maori Point in 2011, and also makes wine in northern California. Matt's wife, Dr. Maggie Evans, is currently doing neuroscience research, following her education at UC Berkeley, Penn State, and University of Otago.
We are obsessed with this land - this ecosystem - and the wine it creates. Each grapevine has a story, and we laboriously hand-tend each vine to help it tell that story. Flowers and aromatic plants are grown between the vine rows and then mown and mulched under the vines, which along with our compost creates beneficial nutrition for the vines. Our native vegetation is thriving, and our honeybees can be found buzzing throughout the property. This land (and our care for it) may explain why our wines show particular purity and intensity, combining lifted fruit and non-fruit flavors with sumptuous textures. We allow the native wild yeasts from our vineyard to perform our Pinot Noir fermentations, and we do not fine or filter our Pinot Noir. Our winemaking is the artisanal ideal: our winery is right next to our vines, and we hand craft our wines with minimal intervention. We do not intervene, yet we are deeply involved: we smell and taste and ponder each fermentation and each barrel of our wine, from start to finish. We have learned to read our wines, to understand their past and dream about what they will become.