Te Whare Ra (pronounced Te Faré Rha) is a small vineyard and winery located in the Marlborough sub-region of Renwick, owned by winemakers Anna and Jason Flowerday.
Te Whare Ra was first started by Allen and Joyce Hogan in 1979 when they first planted vines on a small block of land in Renwick in the heart of Marlborough’s wine growing region. Allen’s reputation for making outstanding aromatics grew and is what TWR has become known for. His foresight and knowledge has helped TWR be where they are today – the oldest boutique winery in Marlborough.
Anna and Jason appeared on the scene in 2003, fresh from working as winemakers in Australia when Anna and Jason were looking for a place to call their own. What impressed them most about Marlborough apart from its stunning scenery is the climate, which is not only perfect for making great wine, it is also well-suited to a number of different varieties.
Anna and Jason knew that they wanted somewhere that was small enough for the two of them, but on a scale that would show that they are very serious about what they are doing. Winemaking is in their blood, both of their families have been involved in the industry for a number of generations and they have never wanted to do anything else.
Great wines have a sense of place combined with texture, balance, fruit concentration and great length. These are qualities that cannot be added, they have to come from the vineyard. There are seven varieties in the TWR stable of ten wines – each with their own strengths and characters.
TWR is a 14Ha property located in the Marlborough sub-region of Renwick. The vineyard which encompasses 11Ha of the total has predominantly loam over clay soils (a mixture of the Broadbridge and Renwick series of soil profiles) and is on the upper terrace alongside SH63. The oldest plantings date back to 1979 and the rest of the block was planted over the late 80s and early 90s with a mixture of varieties.
The yields are kept very low and the vineyard is managed with a combination of organic and biodynamic practices. The vineyard is planted to 7 different varieties with a selection of clones of Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.
The vineyard is hand-tended as much as humanly possible as they feel that a person can treat each vine individually and coax the best from it rather than a machine which does the exact same thing to each vine. It means more time and effort but Anna and Jason think it is more than worth it for the resultant quality.
The aim is to grow great quality fruit, fruit which is balanced in all its components – physiologically ripe. This means a cropping level which is controlled and so they do selective crop thinning at a number of key times during the growing season.
All the fruit is hand-picked and hand-sorted. The wines are made with minimal intervention in a small winery which has been specifically set up for small batch winemaking.
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