Taimate began to explore the possibility its terroir could be included within Marlborough’s successful wine industry in 2004. With a dry, windy and sunny environment coupled with ancient loess soils the setting was set for a slightly cooler but more disease free grape growing environment set to compliment the ever-industrialised grape growing region of Blenheim and its nearby valleys.
Set in the heart of the Flaxbourne District and once a part of the largest sheep run in the South Island (Flaxbourne Station), Taimate vines have grown into an environment where the evapotranspiration rate is twice that of its rainfall, where salt was traditionally more successfully farmed and the sheep and cattle needed to have hides and character to match the tumultuousness of the landscape.
An initial 11 hectares was developed and irrigated via 2 historical farm dams fed by rain runoff. The Flaxbourne based land of the Taimate vineyard quickly showed it could match the success of its rivalled big brother neighbour (The Awatere Valley) and so plans were put in place over time to expand should access to a more abundant water supply be realised.
Through years of planning, land purchases and alterations of resource consents, we eventually had the ability to take and store winter river flows so that water could be collected when abundant, stored and re-used on the land when the sun and wind affected it most.
A large dam 15m deep and several hundred meters long was thus built and another 74Ha of vineyard added to the Taimate lands to utilise this invaluable resource.
Future plans now include the use of its own grapes for its own labels after recent success of Taimate fruit for Eaton Wines, Accolade Wines, Forrest Estate, Giesen Wines and the Marlborough Grape Growers Co-operative.