Awaroa Wines is a cooperative enterprise formed by the 6 partners of Orapiu Grove Farm. The goal of our partnership has been to operate a commercial organic enterprise while protecting and enhancing the land and its ecosystems. The land includes natural springs feeding into the Awaawaroa stream and established bush including totara and kauri. There are large areas of kanuka and manuka with regenerating podacarps especially in areas that were once prevalent in gorse and tobacco plant.The vineyards were first planted in 1998 and the name "Awaroa", meaning 'long valley' in Maori, was taken from the name of the stream and valley system.
We have no formal training in winemaking - we have taught ourselves everything - driving bulldozers, felling pines, setting up irrigration, planting and tending the young vines and watching them grow.... and slowly learning how to make wine on our land. It has been a great adventure! We have had amazing support from our friends and other winemakers on Waiheke. We are a very small scale producer and most of our work is done by hand. Our harvest is our biggest event and is often done in 6 -7 "skim picks" where we get the best possible grapes with individual bunch selection and even discarding indidual grapes. Over the last 15 years our winemaker, Dr Steve Poletti, has developed great skill at getting the best expression of our terroir in a given year, and we have made some lovely wines, scoring as high as 95 poiints, and a bevvy of 5 star wines.
In addition to the vineyard the property also has three olive orchards, producing a small amount of organic olive oil and preserved olives.