Te Whau Vineyard was established in 1993 by Tony, Moira and Caroline Forsyth. The vineyard was planted in 1996 and our wines, the award-winning “The Point” and Te Whau Chardonnay were first made in 1999.
In the early 1990’s Tony was interested in Waiheke Island and its wines at a time when the first pioneering vineyards on the island were enjoying great success with their Bordeaux style cabernet/merlots. This was a wine Tony loved and he decided to make the plunge – buying an abandoned farm on Te Whau Point which had a great north facing slope, perfect for growing cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Moira, being a Chardonnay lover, persuaded him to also plant 1,000 Chardonnay vines on a more gentle slope as well. The stunning view was an added extra for the Forsyths, it was first and foremost the slope that drew them to Te Whau, as the quality of wine is the most important factor in the business.
The early years were spent obtaining the appropriate consents and clearing the slope to prepare it for planting, with all vines planted in the winter of 1996, all by hand, with a small team led by Tony and Caroline and Steve who was to become Vineyard Manager. In 1998 the building of the winery and restaurant was commenced and was ready in time for the first vintage, 1999.
During 2000 Tony and Moira and their two girls left Auckland and the corporate life to move into the winery (which doubles as a small apartment as well) and to open the restaurant. On a frantically busy day in January 2001 the restaurant opened its doors and has grown from strength to strength with its reputation travelling across the world.
Although starting from no experience working with wine or in hospitality, the wine has received rave reviews from its very first vintage and the restaurant has won accolades and awards. The view from Te Whau is a stunning one, looking back over the water to Auckland, the Sky Tower and Rangitoto and from the other side over to Coromandel. This makes it a perfect spot to enjoy great wine and food, sea and vineyard views.