Man O' War
In the 1980's the Spencer family acquired four farms on the stunning Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, about a 40 minute ferry journey from Auckland. Combined, these four sites comprise 4,500 acres and make up the Man O'War station. The first Man O'War vineyards were planted in 1993 with the strong conviction that they could produce world class wines. The name of the winery is steeped in history, called after the Man O'War Bay, named by navigators in the 1700's as legend has it, because Captain Cook noticed the magnificent Kauri trees growing on the island, and remarked that they would make good masts for his Man O'War battleships. Today there are 150 acres under vine across the farms in 75 different vineyards carefully selected for their microclimate and soils. They are planted at different densities with various grape varieties (including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec) and clones matched to the terroir, chosen to reflect the unique characteristics the individual sites can bring to the wines. Their winemaker is Duncan McTavish, who was the first graduate of the Viticulture and Oenology degree programme offered by Lincoln University in 1998. Before he visited Man O'War, Duncan had never been to Waiheke Island – and he never left! Duncan applies the experiences gleaned from working vintages in France, Germany, Australia , America and throughout New Zealand, fusing Old World techniques with innovative New World ideas to craft in his own words “wine for serious enjoyment”. And Man O'War's impressive portfolio of award-winning terroir-driven wines really can be - seriously enjoyed!