Matua Valley, or now simply ‘Matua’, was founded in the 1970s by brothers Ross and Bill Spence.
While Ross had studied viticulture and winemaking in California, Bill had staid home in New Zealand to attend vitculture courses at Massey University. Together, they established their first winery in West Auckland, in the Kumeu area, the Waimauku Valley to be precise where the winery a cellar doors are still located.
Matua claims to have produced New Zealand’s first 300 litres of Sauvignon Blanc, as early as 1974. During the 1980s, the wineries holdings expanded to promising wine producing regions such as Gisborne or Hawke’s Bay. But it is mainly in the 1990s that the company invests significantly in the Marlborough region to become an important player of the area. In 2000, Matua Valley changed hands as the Spence family sold to Beringer Blass Wine Estates, now making the company part of Treasury Wine Estates portfolio.
Nikolai St George was apointed winemaker in 2008 and remains the head of Matua’s winemaking. He was awarded Winemaker of Show/Year the past three years in a row at major New Zealand wine shows: 2015 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, 2014 NZ International Wine Show, 2013 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards.
After a few uninspiring years over the 2000s, Matua is now undergoing a rennaissance, with serious investments both in quantity and quality winemaking. The winery was named the 2012 New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year by the London-based International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC). In 2014, celebrating 40 years of winemaking, Matua completely redesigned logo and wine labels, adopting the current vibrant turquoise colour and the Ta Moko (Maori for ‘head of the family’) symbol created especially for them.
The range starts with the Regional Series at the entry level. The mid-range is represented by the ‘Lands and Legends’ varietals, while the single vineyards top the offering with notably Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Riesling and Pinot Noir.
My reviews and perspectives on Matua wines:
Further information on matua.co.nz
Fin Matua Wines in the world on Wine-Searcher