The history of Waiheke Island goes back to 1769, when Captain Cook first discovered it. The Estate was purchased in the early 1980's, with the first vines being planted in 1993. Today Man O' War consists of 150 acres of vines planted in 76 individual hillside blocks, each with a distinct soil profile and microclimate. The name 'Man O'War' relates to the Kauri trees on the Island. Cook saw these and noted that they would make ideal masts for the warships of the Royal Navy.
Man O'War is situated on the Eastern side of Waiheke Island, off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. The Island is small and rugged, with vineyards leading down to beaches of golden sand. Man O'War have been meticulous in invetigating the many different soils and microclimates. As such they have selected specific varieties and rootstocks in order to produce the highest quality. White varieties have been carefully placed high on the exposed volcanic hilltops so that they benefit from cooling sea breezes, extending their growing season and giving them great concentration and minerality. Red varieties are draped down precipitously steep sheltered clay hillsides enjoying the heat and drainage provided, promoting serious intensity and depth.
Man O'War is one of only a handful of wineries on a small and beautiful Island off the coast of Auckland. To produce wine here requires the ultimate dedication. Production here is the definition of small and boutique. Winemaker Duncan McTavish is one of the most exciting and creative in Australasia.
Man O'War produce an outstanding range of wines. Particular highlights are the Valhalla Chardonnay made with wild yeast fermentation and the big, bold but Rhone-esque Dreadnought Syrah.