Tohu Wines is the world’s first Māori owned wine company.

Since 1998, Tohu has focused on producing estate grown, single vineyard wines from New Zealand’s premier grape growing regions.

The Tohu winemaking philosophy is to create wines that capture the flavours of each region’s unique environment, while upholding respect and protection of the land for future generations.

Today, Tohu is acknowledged as He mātāmua taketake - the original, the first Māori-owned and operated wine label. Our wine is  enjoyed by people all over the world. Its quality has been recognised through many prestigious awards and accolades.

Tohu Wines is part of Kono, a Māori, whānau-owned company based in Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island. With more than 4000 owner families, our purpose is to preserve and enhance our taonga for present and future generations.

Thoughtfulness, kindness and hospitality are central to our identity as Māori. We value people above all things.

One of our core values, manaakitanga, encapsulates care and respect for people and relationships, including the natural environment. It governs the way we interact with one another. An essential part of Māori culture is our desire to feed and nurture people. Sharing food is a traditional way of bringing people together. We demonstrate our love and respect for people by providing them with outstanding food and wine.  

Our wines are made to share. they honour people, culture and the land.

 

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the meaning of Tohu

Tohu has many translations; it can mean a sign, a symbol, distinguishing feature, signature. Our wordmark is our signature and a symbol of intent as a company —a people committed to excellence, set on delivering the very best we can for our land and the people we serve.

Now and in the future.

Our bespoke wordmark has been crafted to include the carved patterning known as rauponga, characterised by a row of notched chevrons. It pays tribute to Māori carving and its imbued meaning.

As a people, Māori developed the skill of carving to create elaborate and artistic objects, including jewellery, pou (carved posts), whare whakairo (carved meeting houses) and tekoteko (carved human forms). Powerful carvings found in the meeting house depict ancestors and their history, while pou whenua, strategically placed on the land, acknowledge and represent the relationship between Tangata Whenua (the people of the land), their ancestors and the environment.

The symbolism of our Koru

In Māori culture, the koru or spiral symbolises growth, life and the natural world. For us, our koru represents the growth of our company and the journey of our people from the past to today.

This koru signifies our long-term intergenerational goals and has become our tohu, our signature.

The koru featured in our logo comes from the painting He Mihi Aroha ki a Koe by renowned Māori artist Sandy Adsett. Sandy Adsett’s koru is a classical motif from the kōwhaiwhai depicted in his painting.

Kōwhaiwhai is the ancient Māori tradition of painted patterns. These symmetrical designs decorate the rafters of the elaborately adorned whare tupuna—house of ancestors—and represent lineage, ancestry and the story of generations.

 

 

Milestones

1998

Tohu Wines launched in partnership between the South Island-based Wakatū Incorporation and Ngāti Rarua Atiawa Iwi Trust, and Gisborne-based Wi Pere Trust. First vintage of 3200 cases sold domestically


2000

In the year 2000, we exported our first wine to London.  


2002

Our vineyard in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough vineyard was purchased, and first vines planted by board members James Wheeler, Rore Stafford and Mugwi MacDonald


2005

Whenua Matua, Moutere vineyard planted first vines


2008

Bruce Taylor starts as Tohu Chief Winemaker


2010

First trophy awarded - Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 wins Champion Sauvignon Blanc and New Zealand Wine Cellars Spence Brothers Trophy


2010

Wakatū Incorporation buys out NRAIT (Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust) and the Wi Pere Trust to become the sole owner of Tohu


2012

Winery purchased in the Awatere Valley


2017

Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 named in Air New Zealand Fine Wines of New Zealand list – a compilation of the country’s most prestigious wines


2018

Tohu Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc selected to be served at former United States President Barack Obama’s invitation-only dinner in Auckland