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October 30, 2019

200th Anniversary of NZ’s first Grapevine planting

In September ’19 we were privileged to commemorate the 200th anniversary of NZ’s first grapevine planting in a very special place of NZ history, Kerikeri.

Owners of Boulder Bay vineyard Paul Duffy and Loren Allpress and Vineyard Manager Murray Reid joined around 100 members of NZ Winegrowers attending celebrations commemorating the 200th anniversary of the planting of New Zealand’s first grapevine. 

The ceremony took place on 25 September, 2019, and featured the re-planting of a vine at Kerikeri Mission Station by NZ Winegrowers’ chairman John Clarke, winemaker Rod McIvor from Marsden Estate (also Boulder Bay’s winemaker), Heritage NZ northern region director Sherry Reynolds, and Kipa Munro of local hapu Ngāti Rehia.

On 25 September, 1819, the Rev Samuel Marsden recorded that he had planted a vine at the Mission Station.  Marsden also noted “NZ promises to be very favourable to the vine, as far as I can judge at present of the nature of the soil and climate.  Should the vine succeed, it will prove of vast importance in this part of the globe”.  This statement proved to be very insightful!

The planting was followed by a Northland wine tasting and dinner at the Treaty Grounds which was attended by winemakers from throughout NZ along with a number of overseas sommeliers.

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