Big Bunch, Two Gates, Quarter Acre and One Off, Diversity from Rod McDonald

It appears Rod McDonald has ‘fingers in many pies’ and more than a ‘bob each way’ with the philosophies behind the brand and labels he makes. In talking to Rod, there is a master plan, and as with most such plans, they are a work in progress, but I know it is slowing coming together.

‘Big Bunch’ is ostensibly the brand marking the return of John Kemble back to winemaker, John known for wines ‘with a big bunch of flavour. The ‘Two Gates’ brand represents Rod’s estate inland site at Maraekakaho, with a commitment to organics. The ‘Quarter Acre’ wines are Rod’s premium Hawke’s Bay expressions, his dream of what the region means to him, very much as owning a quarter acre section with a house on it is the dream of every Kiwi. The ‘One Off’ brand is for special, unique and individual bottlings of parcels of fruit, often acquired serendipitously, allowing Rod and his winemaking team a bit of latitude in style and technique. Here, I review new release wines from each of these brands.


  • Big Bunch Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015
  • Two Gates Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014
  • Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Malbec 2015
  • One Off Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot 2014

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