Moko Hills – The Next Cult Wine


I often get asked, "What's good you've tasted lately?" Moko Hills come to my mind for the right reasons. Something special about these wines, they show some of the prettiest expressions of Bendigo and are captivating.

Production size is under 140 cases for each wine, a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a sub-brand Kakano Pinot Noir made from their 40-hectares family-owned estate in Bendigo; they also supply grapes as growers. The vineyard blocks elevation ranging from 310-370 metres above sea level, home to much unique fauna and flora, such as kōwhai thriving on quartz and schist, featured on the Chardonnay label and along with Kawarau Gecko, an endemic species found bathe upon the sun-baked rock and blending into the mossy cover featured on the Pinot Noir label.

Winemaker Donald van der Westhuizen aspires to make wines reflective of their origin. All wines are made with minimal intervention - hand-picked grapes, minimal extraction, wild yeast fermentation and 100% oak ageing with new and natural oak. Both wines are delicate, with lifted aromas reflective of a higher elevation site. The Pinot Noirs possesses quintessential Bendigo's dark-fruited character, a high percentage of whole bunches incorporated in fermentation contributed to fragranced floral layers, and gentle handling of tannin extraction resulted in ethereal silky textural, leaving a powerful, memorable impression.

The 2020 wines are sold out on their website since their e-commerce went live in August, and 2021 is available. You may find them in selected fine wine retailers, and I suggest you find these gems quickly; you might be missing out on the next cult wine.

Read my reviews in the expansions below.




  • Moko Hills Chardonnay 2020, Central Otago
  • Moko Hills Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago 
  • Kakano by Moko Hills Pinot Noir 2021, Central Otago

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