Waitapu Estate – Wines From the Far North

Eric and Sandra Shackleton established Waitapu Estate on 4.85 ha near Ahipara, around 15 km south-west of Kaitaia in 2000, adding to the growing wine industry in Northland. Originally planting Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Shackletons changed to Pinotage, which has become their leading wine, with Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo and Sangiovese. Eric, who completed the EIT diploma course around 10 years ago, and his wife are fully involved with tending the vineyard and winemaking, which is carried out at Okahu Estate by Alan Collinson, the winemaker there. Family and friends pitch in at harvest. The annual production at this early stage is around 300 cases. The 2008 Syrah was recently awarded a bronze medal at the Upper North Island Wine Challenge. I review the following vintage. www.waitapuestate.co.nz

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