Mention Man O’ War wines and eyes light up. The biggest winery on Waiheke Island, in recent years their wines have become very sought after. Partly due to the amazing location on the West end of the Island. The aspect of the cellar door rivals the best, whether you drive out there or cruise on up (just don’t forget about the outgoing tide while you sup your wines!). But it is probably no coincidence that the arrival of wine-maker Duncan McTavish heralded huge quality improvements both in wine-making and viticulture (The “Skill of the Winemaker” was mentioned!). The 120+ small vineyard plots have been focused to just 74 including those on neighbouring island Ponui – still a lot of plots, but now much more focused. There is quite an extensive range of wines and styles and tonight Duncan tasted us through a number of them. Great stories; great wines.

Esk valley gimblett gravels merlot / cabernet sauvignon / malbec 2016

Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay) which is aged in barrel with no malo-lactic and given no dosage (added sweetness) at disgorgement time. The result is a bright crisp and fresh bubbly with a subtle underlying brioche character. “Tulia is a small and gentle breeze which just seems so completely appropriate for our tiny and treasured parcel of Methode”.  A very limited release wine.


Waimea albarino 2016

75% Sauvignon Blanc 25% Sémillon with all the Semillon and 20% of the Sauvignon barrel aged. Duncan began his winemaking career at Pegasus Bay and this wine is influenced by their Sauvignon Semillon as well as those of Bordeaux. This wine is still as fresh as, and there is no hint of aging. It has flavours of fresh herbs and fennel with a core of tropical fruits. A deservedly highly rated and accoladed wine both in NZ and Internationally – Gold Decanter and Trophy for Best NZ White Wine International Wine Challenge.