Moana Park Winery
Moana Park winery is a family-owned winery in the pursuit of creating New Zealand’s finest natural wines which pay homage to some of the very best viticultural sites throughout the progressive wine-growing region of Hawke’s Bay.
The winery and Moana Park brand was developed in 2000, and owners Dan and Kaylea Barker continue to build the Moana Park brand through making and selling fine wine, providing consultation services to other vineyards and wineries in addition to process and making wine on behalf of their clients.
The natural, low allergen philosophy came about as chief winemaker Dan became passionate about creating a wine that would stand up to his own allergies to sulphites and histamines, while wanting to make a top-quality wine without the interference of harsh additives. This philosophy is now key to Moana Park’s ability to produce exceptional quality, award-winning wines.
The concept of wines being made in the vineyard is fast becoming a cliché with wine producers all becoming increasingly vineyard orientated in the search for superior wines. Moana Park is no exception; with the proven history of the vineyards and the success of the wines Moana Park continues to source grapes from its tried-and-true vineyards, while growing the winery’s capacity by selectively adding new vineyards to the portfolio that align with its underlying philosophies and requirements for quality.
Dan Barker - Winemaker
Dan is a passionate winemaker with experience from some of the top performing wineries in Hawke's Bay, and has been involved in the New Zealand wine industry from both a sales and a manufacturing aspect for 18 years. Dan graduated from EIT with a degree in Wine Science in 2003. While being runner up for Young Winemaker of the Year in 2002, he was successful and won the title in 2003.
With Dan's reputation and his own brand and unique style, combined with his affection for producing Low Allergen environmentally friendly wines for his customers, Dan creates a unique experience valued by tour guides, retail and wholesale customers alike.
James Wilkie (The Bishop) - Winemaker
Now with loads of vintages under his belt, and trying to get to grip with our new bottling line, doing a bit of DIY on his first home with a young son, and an extreem Bonzai hobby James is really easy to spot, he is the one with bags under his eyes.
James has been part of the winemaking team at the award winning winery Moana Park since 2005. Valedictorian for his year at EIT where he studied Wine Science, James is a passionate hands on winemaker, with a penchant for Viognier where Moana Park won top Viognier in World at the Decanter World Wine Awards against 14,000 wines.
The initial thrust behind Moana Park was for it to become a successful boutique winery with cellar door sales being seen as its primary point of distribution. This thrust resulted in the development of a cellar door facility in 2003 which takes advantage of the winery's picturesque location in the heart of the ever growing Hawke's Bay wine trail, just 5km from the town centre of Taradale. Fast-forward to 2014 and the winery is laying the foundations to double the winery in size and triple production for the upcoming vintage, alongside an award-winning cellar door experience that is enjoyed by tour groups, tourists and locals alike.
The original site in Puketapu that was first planted back in 1986 is still part of the Moana landscape, and while there has been ongoing growth in Hawkes Bay expansion has never come at the cost of quality. Our viticultural team does thorough assessment of soil types, aspect and climatic conditions before deciding on utilising any piece of land for vineyards.
We have established estate vineyards throughout Hawke's Bay forming an important platform for our portfolio of wines. As Moana Park continues to build a range from the best quality sites in Hawke's Bay, to date we have secured quality sites such as two vineyards in Hawke's Bay's prime winegrowing distric (our Gimblett Road & Onewa vineyards), both of which continually prove to be little gold mines for consistantly producing some of the finest Merlot in the world, to Cover Point which produces Sauvignon Blanc with fantastic balance, to our three little sites in the Esk Valley - all are important to the security of Moana Park as one of New Zealand's finest wineries.
Gimblett Road Vineyard
The sub-region surrounding & encompassing Gimblett Road has its own micro climate with Roy's Hill blocking the prevailing winds and cloud formation, as well as heat retention and reflection from the stony soils during the warm days over summer. This effectively means a different categorisation from the "cool climate" definition used for the broader New Zealand wine industry.
This unique terroir allows extended ripening and enhances the fruit characteristics of the berries, producing generous flavour, balanced acids and consistent physiological ripeness. This Gimblett Road site has Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Chardonnay and Malbec planted. This vineyard gives us a high quality fruit to play with in the winery - in the past this vineyard was utilised by Kingsley Estate where eight of the nine wines produced from this site won gold medals or 5 star equivalent. Since then we have achieved accolades of our own for our Single Vineyard Reserve wines that hark from this site.
Our Onewa vineyard is named for the alluvium deposits of grey stones and gravel; the surrounding district which includes Gimblett Road has a reputation for producing high quality red wines from Bordeaux red varieties and Syrah.
The appellation is strictly determined by the gravely soils laid down by the old Ngaruroro River, which were exposed after a huge flood in the 1870's. The area is up to three degrees celsius warmer during the day in summer and autumn, compared to most other areas of Hawke's Bay. The evenings are warmer because of thermal conductivity in the stony soils.
Here we grow in conjunction with our Gimblett Road vineyard our super premium Syrah and Merlots.
Cover Point Vineyard
The Cover Point vineyard nurtures our favourite varities to produce from Hawke's Bay: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Merlot and Viognier. The vineyard is planted on a dried up riverbed; gravels and calcareous silts from the surrounding limestone hills and river terraces offer a variety of vineyard soil fertility.
The braided nature of the soil has been carefully considered in the planting of the vineyard where conscious effort has been made to match grape variety to soil structure, to maximise berry composition at harvest. These variations also promote the selective harvesting of the vineyard with early ripening areas being harvested separately. It has not been uncommon for three separate harvests to be made from a single block in order to achieve optimal composition of all fruit in the vineyard. It is in decision making like this where experience as a grower comes to the fore in the production of high quality fruit for Moana Park.
Puketapu Vineyard (Home Block)
The Puketapu vineyard, home also to our winery and award-winning cellar door, was originally planted in 1981. It was home to some of the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in the North Island, along with Mendoza Chardonnay and a "few rows" of Muscat for Ice Wine purposes.
The vineyard will be undergoing a full re-plant in 2013 and we're still deciding what will make the cut - perhaps the Dijon clone 95 Chardonnay, Viognier, a small amount of Pinot Gris and some Muscat A Petits grains blanc, why? Because it is bloody delicious, thats why!
The Moana Park Gatekeeper vineyard named as it is positioned at the Northern Gateway to the sunny Hawkes Bay in the beautiful Esk Valley.
Bony and dry alluvial outwash is topped by a sandy loam, in this we grow aromatic varieties Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Esk Valley is almost frost free during the growing season lending itself to these early-budding white varieties.
Lodge Block Vineyard
The Moana Park Lodge Block is situated in the picturesque Esk Valley of Hawke's Bay. Here we grow some of our aromatic whites: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and a little bit of Semillon.
The block has deep fertile soils, the earliest ripening and also the smallest block in our portfolio at only three hectares.
The site also offers luxury accommodation via the Esk Valley Lodge if you want to stay amongst the vines visit www.eskvalleylodge.co.nz .
Lucky 8 Vineyardp>The Moana Park Lucky 8 Vineyard, the eighth vineyard to join our portfolio, is situated on the dry riverbed of the Esk Valley in sunny Hawke's Bay. The Esk Valley is the northern river in the system that makes up the four rivers that span the grape growing district of Hawke's Bay.
We grow Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec on this Bordeaux style vineyard; the wine from this block goes into our right bank style Estate Series Merlot Malbec
- Moana Park Tribute Merlot 2006 (Royal Easter Wine Show 2008, Gold and Trophy Winners)
- Moana Park Vineyard Selection Viognier 2009 (Royal Easter Wine Show 2010, Gold Medal and Trophy Wines)
- Moana Park Vineyard Tribute Syrah 2008 (Royal Easter Wine Show 2010, Gold Medal and Trophy Wines)
- Moana Park Reserve Chardonnay 2010 (Royal Easter Wine Show 2012, Gold Medal and Trophy Wines)
- Moana Park Hawke's Bay Viognier 2010 (Pure Gold) (Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2011, Gold Medal and Trophy Winners)