Family of Twelve at the Golden Dawn

Odd Cousin – The Family of Twelve at the Golden Dawn Restaurant.

Opportunities to showcase one’s wines are sometimes found in the most surprising places. For The Family of Twelve an opportunity came not from the land of the rising sun, but the ‘Golden Dawn’ in Ponsonby, Auckland. Commencing on the 1st of November The Family of Twelve, in collaboration with the Golden Dawn, will be showcasing a selection of their scarcest bottles alongside the flair of the Dawn’s eclectic shared plates. Twelve wines will be offered; some by the bottle, others by the glass, perhaps some by the taste. Rumour has it aged Riesling, decade-old sticky and an orange wine Pinot Gris will feature – but it’s the quick and the dead, as some are down to the last few cases and being museum stock aren’t even available at the cellar doors.

In keeping with the Family’s ethos of collaboration with like-minded groups the Family felt an affinity with the Golden Dawn’s focus on quirky and artisan produce. Consultant sommelier Stephen Wong worked with the twelve family members to plan the list and painstakingly procure the unique parcels from each winery.

Sommelier Stephen Wong describes his approach to curating the list:

“We all have one, that quirky member of the extended family who gets talked about for being a bit different, the one you secretly admire because he dresses a little strange, or she listens to outrageous music – the odd cousin. The Family of Twelve is New Zealand’s premier group of prestigious family owned wineries, spanning the length of the country and covering every major style of wine, from sparkling to sweet. Here at Golden Dawn, we celebrate the different and unique, and just as every family has an odd cousin, so do these families – a wine which is just a little more left of centre, the one that doesn’t fit neatly into the family portrait. We love these odd cousins and have collected one from each family so you can meet and get to know them. Hopefully, like us, you will see what makes them so special.”

From a commercial perspective this co-promotion exemplifies the value of playing at the obscure end of our very fragmented modern wine market. Small parcel wines; of varieties and styles outside the mainstream represent a tiny fraction of the wine market yet reveal an opportunity to not only capture hearts and minds but add to business relationships and richly enhance our profiles through the halo-effect.

*** Occupying a site hidden away on the corner of Ponsonby and Richmond Roads ‘Golden Dawn’ offers a quirky respite from the humdrum of everyday life and was recently the winner of ‘Best Wine List’ at this year’s Lewisham awards.

In the words of co-founder Sam Chapman: “Essentially the Golden Dawn is a short term cultural project…We specialise in ‘natural’ wines, craft beer and simple hearty rustic fare. We set out to create a genuine community local and as such try to ensure there’s always a rich and diverse range of experiences on offer from music, theatre and performance to communal dining events and even dabbling in a little ‘wine and sound matching’… So far so good and it even looks like the tents may stay up till Christmas.”

134 Ponsonby Rd, Entrance off Richmond Rd
Hours are 4pm – late, Tuesday – Sunday.

*** The Family of Twelve is a fraternity of twelve of New Zealand’s most prestigious and enduring artisanal wineries. Founded in 2005, the Family’s vision is to nurture long term relationships with an emphasis on education in their key export markets. The promotion of New Zealand wine at its best is paramount.

The common thread that binds the members of this family is that we strive for perfection. You can hear it in the conversations; there is a restlessness, a constant looking forward. Our family table has only twelve seats, saved for twelve winemaking families from around our country. We each bring to the table only what is good enough to be shared by the family seated, so if it’s not in the glass at our table, it certainly won’t be going to yours.

For further Information please contact William Hoare, Chairman – The Family of Twelve

Tel: 03 572 9355 Email:

The Family of Twelve are:

Kumeu River – Villa Maria – The Millton Vineyard – Craggy Range – Ata Rangi – Palliser Estate – Neudorf Vineyards – Nautilus Estate – Fromm Winery – Lawson’s Dry Hills – Pegasus Bay – Felton Road.


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