Artisan Wines is an organic estate winery in West Auckland’s Oratia Valley on the north island of New ZealandThe vineyard was planted in 1994 and the first estate wines were released from the 1999 vintage.

Founder-owners | Rex Sunde (third generation Auckland wine-grower) and his wife Maria (trained as a chartered accountant). Both have Dalmatian roots. Rex studied viticulture at Massey University, worked for Nobilo winery, has a “substantial” background in agro-chemicals (research and development), and helps write the New Zealand Winegrowers Vineyard Spray Schedule. Regarding the move to organics he says “yes, there was an epiphany of sorts along the way,” he told me by email July 2015.

Vineyards | 3.2 hectares (8 acres). Chardonnay, Viognier, Flora, Verdelho, Petit Manseng, Grüner Veltliner for whites. Syrah for reds.

Organics | Sheep are used to graze weeds over winter and into spring and early summer, when they also eat vine leaves

Certification | 2010 First vintage with full organic certification.

Winemaking | Under contract at a local custom crush facility.

Wines

White wines | Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc.

Red wines | Syrah.

Direct sales, restaurant | Yes.

Contact

Artisan Wines Ltd

99 Parrs Cross Road, Oratia, Waitakere City, New Zealand

Tel+64 9 838 7979 | www.artisanwines.co.nz