Drive up past the estate vines and you come to Huia Vineyard’s cottagey cellar door. The winery is named after the extinct native bird, which was considered sacred by Maori. Many would agree the Huia wines made here by Claire and Mike Allan also fall into that category.
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The couple arrived in Marlborough in 1990 to work for other wine companies and say they were “completely blown away by the region”. So much so that they utilised their formidable winemaking skills to establish their own label in 1996. The three Huia vineyards are organically and bio-dynamically run. The quirkily branded Hunky Dory is the Allans’ second-tier label – those wines, designed for “relaxed living” can also be purchased here.
The fantastic Huia Brut is the ideal wine for a special occasion, creamy and dry on the palate. The pinot noir, made with fruit from 20-year-old vines, is another outstanding example, as is the Huia Chardonnay 2009, which came in at number two in the Cuisine 2014 NZ chardonnay tasting.