First made in 1982, Awatea continues to represent the best of the classic Hawke's Bay Cabernet/Merlot blend.
Awatea takes its name from the historic ship SS Awatea (a Maori word meaning “Eye of the Dawn”) that sailed the Auckland – Sydney – Wellington route in the late 1930s. The Awatea was requisitioned as a troop transport in WWII and was sunk off Algeria in 1942.
The separate parcels of grapes were destemmed before a traditional warm, plunged fermentation and extended maceration on skins. The resulting wines were then run to new and seasoned French oak barrels for 15 months’ ageing. Throughout this time, they were regularly topped and racked. The separate wines were blended in January 2020, then returned to barrel for their second winter. The finished wine was then egg white fined and bottled in November 2020.
The final blend is 46% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 22% cabernet franc.