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Our Story

"The story is now," insists founder and director Dr Antonio Pasquale, "Nobody cares where I come from or how this happened, the story is the guy who is planting the grapes, the one who is picking them, the one who is making the wine, even the people who are talking about the wine and drinking it."

And this is certainly true; in such a young and modestly sized company, each person brings something that together creates the overall personality of the organisation. But there is also a back story. Not a long one, but a story all the same, with plenty of adversity for such a youthful company.

It began in 2004 when Antonio and his wife Stefania made the decision to take a section of merino farm in the remote Hakataramea Valley and plant it into a vineyard.

This was the first of many difficult steps towards a particular goal: "Dry farmland can be seen and transformed," Antonio explains, "It is challenging, but it is creating new tastes of wine in New Zealand."

Initially, the classic aromatic grape varieties were planted: Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Cabernet Sauvignon and others. However, after that first year, it would turn out that nearly all of these vines would have to be ripped out to make room for different, and hopefully more successful, experiments.

Over the early years, Pasquale would experiment with an enormous range of different varieties, probing the land to discover which vines would react best to this unique terroir. As a result, the Pasquale Kurow Winery now produces an extensive range of wines, spanning some nine different successful grape varieties, and even more promising varieties, such as the Malvasia Bianca, getting closer to producing fruit for their first vintage.

By 2006 it was time to expand and plant a new vineyard, this time a little closer to civilisation: near the town of Kurow in the neighbouring Waitaki Valley. And with the Waitaki Vineyard came the region's first winery in 2007, the Pasquale Kurow Winery.

  Our Story

The Waitaki vineyard was planted on the site of a stonefruit orchard, right next to the braided Waitaki River.

When questioned on the reasoning behind building a winery in such a remote location, an idea that many would dismiss as a risky challenge, Antonio states that "There are two jobs here: growing grapes and making wine. I don't understand how, if you are trying to make something special, you can pass one of these jobs to someone else."

And now every year, just as the preceding wines age in their bottles, and as the latest wines reflect the new characteristics of their own vintage, so does the story of the winery change. The story is now.

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