But First, Our People


On the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park in Nelson is the coastal settlement, Mārahau.

This is where the owners of indigenous food and drinks company, Kono, call home.

Across more than 530 hectares of land and sea located in TeTauihu, the top of the South Island, are vineyards, mussel farms, orchards, hop gardens and brewery.

For hundreds of years, the ancestors of this family-owned company have lived here cultivating gardens and fishing the warm, safe bay for rich, fat cockles, pipi, snapper, mussels, kahawai and crab.

They have always been gardeners, fishermen, orchardists, artisans and providores. It is fair to say that food and hospitality underpin their way of life.

Not only are they specialists in what they do, they place great importance on their people who are at the heart of what they do.

Their people manage every aspect of producing world-class food and beverages.

From farming and harvesting, to process and marketing of seafood, wine, cider, apples, pears, kiwifruit, hops and natural fruit snacks.

Across their vineyards, Kono manages the internationally acclaimed, Tohu Wines.

Tohu Wines winemaking philosophy is to create styles of wine that best reflect their sub-region and capturing the essence of their Awatere Valley vineyard.

Their premium range of quality Tohu wines reflect the strengths of the Awatere Valley in Marlborough.

As the world first Māori-owned wine business, Tohu’s purpose is to preserve and enhance their taonga for present and future generations.

Thoughtfulness, kindness and hospitality are central to Tohu’s identity as Maori, valuing people above all things.

The responsibility for the land their ancestors walked is something that all those who work for the food and beverage company hold dearly.

‘At their best’ is a recurring theme for Tohu Wines.

It doesn’t get much better than the sun-soaked heart of the Marlborough-Nelson region – which offers a rare combination of mineral rich soils and a coastal climate.

The result? Fertile lands that grow exceptional grapes and wines.

But producing globally acclaimed premium wine is only part of the story.

Jonny Hiscox is the Tohu Whenua Matua Vineyard Manager and finds it deeply enriching to tend to a vineyard that will live on beyond his time, something that his daughter can visit and be proud of.

It is this sense of being part of something bigger than oneself that makes Kono and their wide range of world-class food and beverages so inviting.

People are always at the heart of what they do, making you feel like you are a part of their whānau.

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