Last year I had the pleasure of tasting three wines from October 30 Wines in Matakana – a Chardonnay, a Syrah & a Gruner Veltliner. All the wines were excellent and produced from the only BioGro Certified Organic vineyard in Matakana. Here is their story…
One hour north of Central Auckland is the steadily growing region of Matakana, and with miles of un-spoilt coastline and beaches, boutique wineries and galleries as well as one of New Zealand’s best Farmers Markets, makes Matakana a destination for everyone.
Alistair and Karen Noakes have been involved in the wine industry for 26 years with a love of growing and making fine wine. Growing up in the Matakana region they have great knowledge on the local environment and growing things naturally. They’ve both been involved with Natural Development from the beginning 10 years ago and are responsible for the design, development, training of the vines and wine-making through to the finished product.
Their vineyards are inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape and have been set up with the focus on quality, biodiversity and sustainability. October 30 Wines are a true expression of the single vineyards they come from. Alistair and Karen have planted 10,500 vines: Gruner Veltliner, Chardonnay and Syrah suit perfectly to Matakana’s growing season, climate and volcanic clay soil.
The vines are closely planted and cropped for low yields resulting in high quality grapes. With no irrigation the roots are trained to grow deep where they can make use of the nutrients locked up in the clay and the soil moisture making the vines more drought resistant.
Being the only BioGro Certfied Organic vineyard in Matakana they are very aware of the inputs used to grow their grapes and make their wine. BioGro Certified Organic means any product they bring on to the farm or vineyard has to be approved by BioGro and be certified organic. This gives them proof that there are no inorganic products available to use and give them an organic license that is recognised around the world. Harvesting is all done manually giving them optimal selection over grape quality.
The Wine-making process is kept simple and traditional to continue the theme of wine being influenced by the vineyard. As the wine-making process is biogro certified all products added are certified organic this produces a wine that is natural and has very low total sulphur level.
The Gruner Veltliner being an aromatic variety is fermented in stainless steel tanks with no oak. This ensures the crisp acidity and citrus and stone fruit flavours and spiciness.
The Chardonnay is barrel fermented in a blend of new and old oak barrels using wild yeast. Left to go through malolactic fermentation and lees stirred. The wine is left in barrel for 14 months before bottling.
The Syrah is fermented in open fermentation tanks, hand plunged 3 x per day to extracted maximum colour and grape skin contact. Left to go through malolactic fermentation and mature in a mixture of old and new French oak for 18 months.
They have also released a 2019 Gruner Veltliner Methode Traditionelle – bottle fermented for 34 months, made in a slight Demi-Sec style, and a 2022 Syrah Rose both of which which I’ve yet to review.
Only strictly limited quantities of their organic wines have been produced and are bottled and labelled with a very unique wine label.
Designed as a wine label by Hundertwasser 30 years ago for a European Wine Charity Auction, it is through the Noakes’ strong association with the Hundertwasser Foundation that they have been allowed sole copyright to this unique label on their wines.
The Hundertwasser Art Centre is not far away in Whangarei and well worth a visit – https://www.hundertwasserartcentre.co.nz/
They’re currently setting up the house for short-term rentals and a B&B.” It should be a success with its beautiful garden, games
room, sauna, gym, and swimming pool – all the luxuries you would expect of a high-end property in Matakana.
The couple aim to keep improving on the wines, improving the soil and the farm, and getting the house ready for renting out. “It’s more to us than just a job,” says Alistair. “It’s nice to be boutique and doing something we care about. When you drink October 30 wines, you’re getting some of us in that bottle, some of our care and toil, and some of this beautiful location.”
To find out more about October 30 Wines and purchase wine online visit: https://october30.nz/
If you would like to be considered for Featured Winery of the Month contact JB
JBs’ Notes on the October 30 Wines
October 30 Gruner Veltliner 2019, Matakana NZ
Bright straw coloured with lemon hues. Fresh lemon, pineapple & apple aromas on the nose with white pepper & spice notes. Juicy crisp palate of crunchy apple & citrus fruit, a zesty acid backbone, a little minerality, apple-skin textures, light viscosity and a refreshingly long grippy finish. Organic single vineyards – Drinking beautifully at 4 years old – Highly recommended – a “must try” wine!
October 30 Chardonnay 2019, Matakana NZ.
Lemon / gold with pale green hues – nice legs! Apricot, peach & sweet apple aromas in the nose, vanilla & nutty oak notes. The palate is medium weighted, creamy & textured with stone-fruit, citrus & nutty flavours – juicy, grippy acidity & fine oak influence provide body & structure. Nicely balanced / integrated wine with a moreish long finish. A lovely organic chardonnay made with minimal intervention. Delicious!
October 30 Syrah 2019, Matakana NZ
Deep purple / dark cherry coloured to the rim in the glass, the nose is fragrant & filled with ripe red & black berry fruit, plum aromas, spice, pepper. More rich dark fruit flavours on the palate are underpinned with layers of texture, spiced oak, fine powdery tannins & a lively acidity all in unison – Very moreish, intense, concentrated long dry finish. Excellent.
October 30 Syrah Rosé 2022, Matakana NZ
Clear salmon pink with copper hues, medium bodied. Fragrant nose of cherry & raspberry aromas with a slight savoury earthy note. The palate is all about the fruit, with plum, cherry & strawberries ‘n cream flavours, then a little tart acidity & a hint of pepper. Crisp & dry but fruity finish. 100% Syrah crushed & pressed, no skin contact, organic plant based yeast & fermented in stainless tank. Very refreshing drop.
October 30 Gruner Veltliner Methode Traditionelle 2019, Matakana NZ
Bright shiny lemon-gold in colour, creamy foam on pouring, tiny persistent bead. Fresh apple, lime, herbal notes, bread / yeast & spice in the nose. Intensely flavoured on the palate with crisp apple & citrus flavours, zingy acidity, slightly salty mineral backbone, leesy, creamy effervescence on the palate then a long absolutely delicious citrus finish. 100% 2019 Gruner Veltliner bottle fermented for 34 months. Made in a slight Demi Sec style. Fabulous!