Tohu Whenua Celebrates Deep Connection to the Land

With artisan wine-making, stories of the land where the wine comes from, and labels inspired by traditional tukutuku patterns, Tohu Wines has launched Tohu Whenua, a new series of single vineyard wines.

The new range of Tohu Whenua wines

Each varietal within the Whenua series carries the name of the vineyard it originates from – either Whenua Awa, in Upper Awatere Valley, Marlborough or Whenua Matua in Upper Moutere, Nelson.

“As kaitiaki, guardians of our lands, we have spent a lot of time on our vineyards, understanding and nurturing each of the blocks. We’re using this intimate knowledge of the land to create premium single vineyard wines,” Bruce Taylor, Tohu chief winemaker says. 

“The two vineyards have very different characteristics and therefore produce very distinct flavours in the wines.  The Tohu Whenua wines are made from select parcels of land that represent the true characteristics of the land and can be traced to the individual blocks where the grapes are sourced from,” Mr Taylor says.

“We are respectful of the fruit in the vineyard and are focused on capturing their unique characteristics and taking those flavours straight to the bottle with minimal interference.  We have great vineyards and we just want that to come through in the wine,” Mr Taylor says.

“The grapes for the Whenua series are carefully selected from individual blocks chosen for a harmonious match between the varietal, the soil, the climate, altitude and topography,” Mr Taylor says.  “From there, the winemaking style is traditional and artisanal, allowing the distinctive characteristics of the grapes and the terroir to speak for themselves.”

 “This is a special release for us and follows on from our celebration last year of 20 years since we launched the world’s first M?ori-owned wine company. The Whenua series is a gift from our land. Each wine in the series is an expression of the uniqueness of our t?ranagawaewae, our standing place, and our connection to the land,” Rachel Taulelei, Kono CEO says.

“The Tohu Whenua series is not only about showcasing excellent wine, it is also about sharing our story, our journey and our values. We have a rich history that has defined the Tohu purpose and vision. We have strong values – including kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga and rangatiratanga – which we hold as guiding principles in our everyday work, whether you are based at the winery, vineyards or in the sales and marketing team,” Ms Taulelei says.

“Manaakitanga is guiding how we are introducing Tohu Whenua to our trade partners. Our sales team are holding personalized tasting sessions all over Aotearoa. They’ll be sharing the stories of the people and the land behind the wine. People who enjoy premium wine also enjoy knowing the background of the wine and the people who have created it.”

Whenua Awa Vineyards - Awatere - Marlborough

Whenua Awa
Whenua Awa is nestled in the upper reaches of the Awatere Valley, in Marlborough. Awatere means fast-flowing river, and the name Whenua Awa acknowledges the Awatere River that flows along the west boundary of the vineyard. 

The vineyard sits 230 metres above sea level bringing a uniqueness to the growing conditions in Marlborough. The climate is cool, winds are strong, braided rivers powerful and frosts harsh. The soil in the Awatere Valley is consistent with loess soil, river stones and mineral-rich papas clay.

Whenua Awa is home to our award-winning Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and Single Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Whenua Matua Vineyards - Upper Moutere - Nelson

Whenua Matua
Whenua Matua is located on the sun-drenched rolling slopes of Upper Moutere Hills in the Nelson region.

Whenua Matua translates to ‘significant land’.  The name acknowledges our heritage and the lands of our ancestors.

The land is gentle, rolling country, with clay soils laced with layers of gravel. The climate is warm with high sunshine hours. Its sloping hillsides experience excellent airflow during frost-prone periods of the growing season. Soils found on some areas of Whenua Matua are heavier and composed of clay, which is ideal for growing the succulent grapes used in our award-winning Pinot Noir, Albariño and Chardonnay.

There are eight wines available in the series ranging from Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling Albariño and Pinot Blanc.

  • Tohu Whenua Awa Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
  • Tohu Whenua Awa Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017
  • Tohu Whenua Awa Awatere Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2017
  • Tohu Whenua Awa Awatere Valley Marlborough Riesling 2018
  • Tohu Whenua Awa Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Blanc 2018
  • Tohu Whenua Matua Upper Moutere Nelson Pinot Noir 2017
  • Tohu Whenua Matua Upper Moutere Nelson Chardonnay 2017
  • Tohu Whenua Matua Upper Moutere Nelson Albariño 2018

The Tohu Whenua Series is now available and being introduced to restaurant, bar and fine wine stores nationwide. Learn more about the Whenua series or book a trade personalized tasting session at


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