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As a winemaker it is now possible to make ‘okay’ wines from mediocre grapes but it is impossible to make the wines that we want to be associated with if we do not have access to great fruit, grown by great people.
Keith Stewart once wrote a book based around the concept that wine reflects both the place and the people involved, and I believe we see this borne out with grapes also. You can have a great site, but if the management is poor, or the owners too greedy, then this will be reflected in the fruit, and therefore the subsequent wines.
It is ‘the’ key for us to be associated with people that have the right sites, have vineyards that are planted with the appropriate varieties, and who have the passion and experience to manage the vineyard so that great grapes are produced. It is an art and a science to manage a vineyard through a season and as each season is different from the others, we are all learning every year. With this in mind we need to acknowledge the impact that experience has on making particular decisions for a parcel of land. If someone has been working with the same parcel over many years they build up a real knowledge of how their vines will respond to different seasons.
Mahi started in 2001 with an idea being to show the individuality of the various valleys and vineyards throughout Marlborough and this focus of recognising and celebrating the diversity within Marlborough still continues.
It is a matter of great pride for us that we are still involved with the vineyard that kicked Mahi off, the Byrne vineyard in Bedford Road, and also that we are still associated with all the growers we have ever had. We work hard to maintain a close relationship with the vineyard owners and will be able to do even more now that the winery is set up as we like.
When you are travelling through Marlborough please come and see the winery as we have photos and stories of our growers throughout our cellar-door, so you can taste the wines while reading the stories of these special places and people.