Meaning “Smoky River” in Maori, the Opawa River historically began in the current Opawa vineyard owned by Nautilus Estate of Marlborough. The riverbed gravels formed the stony soils which today absorb the sun’s warmth during the day, and radiate it back onto the grapes at night, evolving the delicious aromas and flavours in these wines. Today the lower Opawa River is the habitat for various endangered and endemic NZ birdlife and Opawa wines are committed to preserving this wetland ecosystem and its inhabitants.
Location of Vineyard
The Opawa vineyard is located on the historic river bed of the old Opawa river. The Opawa river was flowed through this site until modern flood protection measures were put in place, changing the course of the river and leaving part of the old river bed dry. The stony soils are ideally suited for grape vines! Water drains freely, which grapevines like, and heat is absorbed from the bright Marlborough sunshine during the day, to be radiated back onto the grapes at night.The vineyard was developed by Nautilus Estate who purchased the land in two parcels in 2001 and 2003. The combined plot is 25 hectares of very stony soil which was wild scrub land before grapevines were planted in surrounding area in the mid 1990s. The vineyard is in a warm, frost free site that ripens early in the season and produces an intensely fruity and fragrant style of wine, with a soft, juicy texture and great overall balance.
Opawa wines are made with minimal intervention and gentle handling front of mind. Sustainably grown grapes from selected Marlborough vineyards are picked in the cool of night, under moonlight, to ensure the pristine flavours are perfectly preserved in our wines. All our wines are sustainably produced and vegan friendly.