In 1997 Antonio Pasquale and Stefania Muraro and their daughters arrived in New Zealand from Italy, bringing a rich family heritage in the wine business. Attracted to the South Canterbury / North Otago heartland near the pioneer town of Kurow, they bought, planted and now nurture some 30 hectares of vineyards.
The Turner family, who had previously worked the land as commercial orchards, were then employed by Pasquale to plant vines on the steep slopes and gentle plains, and set up a state-of-the-art winery complete with bottling and labelling facilities.
In just over 7 years production has grown to 6000 cases, including the unique Alma Mater aromatic blend, classical French and Italian varieties, Passito (made from naturally-dried grapes) and also an intense Limoncello.
The early history of the Waitaki Valley reflects the rise of rail in the late 1800s. Only the glint in the gold prospectors' eyes and the determination of the hardiest of farming families could overcome the rough and wild landscape. More recently, the massaging of the braided river to form hydro-electric schemes has added ribs of giant dams to the valley's braided backbone. Lakes have brought leisure and the Pasquale Cellar Door at Kurow has added respite and refreshment to the Valley's scenic splendour.
None of this has been achieved without enormous effort and dedication. The Latin motto for the 2010 vintage - Per Aspera Ad Astra - truly captures the essence of Waitaki, and Pasquale: Through Adversity to the Stars.
The Waitaki Valley straddles the border of Otago and Canterbury in the foothills of New Zealand's Southern Alps.
While the area freezes over regularly in winter, summer provides a long season, with hot ,dry days and cool nights, perfect for growing Pinot Noir and aromatics.
The soil is contrived largely of alluvial silts by the formative braided river that runs through the valley: the Waitaki River. A very high concentration of limestone lends the wines their crisp minerality that really does provide that 'something special'.
NZ - Canterbury
Cellar Door Hours
10am ~ 4pm Mon to Sun
5292 Kurow-Duntroon Road
North Otago 9494
+64 3 436 0443
Café open Wed to Sun 10am ~ 4pm