Rod McDonald’s Diverse Hawke’s Bay Wines

There’s a great deal of excitement emanating from Hawke’s Bay as Rod McDonald grows his winemaking business. Rod has a number of brands that represent different philosophical approaches to making wine, all of them valid and as a result, his portfolio is a truly diverse one. Here’s how it appears to me: His personal brand is ‘Quarter Acre’ which harks to every Kiwi’s dream of owning a quarter acre section which they can call their home and their own. It’s his expression of Hawke’s Bay allowing for different varieties in their natural Hawke’s Bay habitat. The extension of this approach is his focus on the Syrah variety in the best he can do, this being the ‘Trademark’ Syrah. The ‘Te Awanga Estate’ wines reflect the unique climate and soils of the cooler coastal Te Awanga growing region. And ‘Two Gates’ will come to represent organic wines from the company’s dedicated vineyard in the Maraekakaho district. The ‘Blanket Hills’ wines are made stylistically to appeal to the consumer desires of richness and accessibility, whilst representing the uniqueness of Hawke’s Bay. And then there are the opportunist ‘One Off’ wines which are serendipitous in how they are sourced and made, appealing to Rod’s sense of fun and adventure in winemaking. It may appear that Rod’s covering all bases, and that he’ll have a wine for everyone and every occasion, but I know the development of these labels has been an evolving process. Here, I review a selection of wines, released for spring and summer, showing the diverse philosophies that Rod McDonald has embraced.


  • Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Syrah Rosé 2014
  • Te Awanga Estate Hawke’s Bay Merlot Rosé 2014
  • Two Gates Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013
  • One Off Hawke’s Bay Sangiovese Rosé 2014
  • One Off Gisborne Albarino 2014

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