In 1984 James and Annie Millton established their winery on the banks of the Te Arai River near Manutuke where the early settlers first planted grapevines in 1871. This region is situated on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand in the winegrowing region of Gisborne. Originally Annie’s father, Mr John Clark, had developed vineyards on his estate at ‘Opou’ in Manutuke during the late 1960’s. James and Annie returned to Gisborne after experience gained in the famous wine regions of France and Germany including Champagne Bollinger, Maison Sichel in Bordeaux and Weingut Kurstner in Rheinhessen. By 1983 they had extensively researched and replanted major parts of the families’ grape growing business at the Opou Vineyard and Riverpoint Vineyard before, in 1984, establishing the winemaking and barrel aging facility in the present Te Arai Vineyard. This vineyard was then established and later, as children Monique and Sam were born further plantings were established on the river plateaus at either end of this vineyard. Clos Monique and Clos Samuel. Grown, not made. The Millton Vineyard specialises in growing fine wine from estate grown grapes sourced from their own single vineyards. For over 28 years these grapes have been grown in the traditional manner using biodynamic techniques. This involves growing the grapes without the use of herbicides, insecticides, systemic fungicides or soluble fertilisers. It therefore incorporates the use of special herbal, mineral and animal preparations and teas and includes a deep understanding of the complex cosmic rhythms which affect these daily activities. The resulting wines are certified to an international standard to assure that they are true to type and their original nature. They carry the certified organic trademark BioGro and grower ID number, which appears on the back label. In 2009 our vineyards and animals were Demeter. Both these organisations have exacting standards which are audited to international level and meet the stringent requirements needed to participate in these specialised markets. All wines are produced and bottled on the property – Before a wine can be great it must first be true.
The Te Arai vineyard is five kilometres from the sea. Te Arai roughly translates to “the place where you pause before going on towards the land of eternal sunshine.” – With aromas of fresh lime zest and fragrant gardenias, this wine is taut and vibrant in a way that will show its’ maturity over a very long period of time. Flavours of fine wool and bush honey are enhanced by cumquat and ripe bouche pear aromas with a tingling aftertaste.