Tohu, a gift from the land


Established as the world’s premier Māori-owned and operated winery, Tohu Wines is an important member of the Whakatū (Nelson) based whānau business Kono.

The tūpuna (ancestors) of these whānau were kaitiaki of the whenua, wai māori and moana – farmers, fishermen, planters, and providores.

They were astute, creative and entrepreneurial. Being a whānau business, there is the responsibility for Tohu to uphold that legacy of its owners and their ancestors in its practices and to enhance the resources and whenua passed down through generations.

Ensuring that sustainability and responsibility is a 500-year intergenerational plan, created by the owners and parent organisation.

Today, Tohu create internationally recognised award-winning wines, all while remaining true to their deeply held values which include hihiritanga, kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga – doing things better, guardianship, and caring.

Striving to be good ancestors is intrinsic to being Māori and for those who choose to work with the whenua.

Whenua Awa, meaning ‘land by the river’ is the Marlborough vineyard planted in 2002 by Tohu Wines.

It’s an idyllic spot nestled in the upper reaches of the Awatere Valley, sitting 200 metres above sea level on stony river terraces.

With views out to the Pacific Ocean and the mighty mountain Tapuae-o-Uenuku (footsteps of Uenuku, the rainbow god) rising behind it, the vineyard is not only naturally beautiful, but it also produces some of the best grapes in world.

Of the 121 hectares that make up Whenau Awa, 72 hectares are a vineyard with the balance being made up of slopes and terraces with a mixture of native plant species which have been planted over a number of years.

Tohu is ready to take seedlings that have grown and plant them into the vineyard this Spring.

Tohu will be continuing to document the life cycle of their seedlings, you can follow their social media to keep up to date with the lifecycle.  

See video below for the story.

Each Tohu range has been crafted with aroha (love) and is a gift from their land to us.

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