ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Approximately one hour’s drive north of Auckland city on the north island of New Zealand lies the picturesque town of Matakana, a foodie haven and a thriving wine region that excels at growing Bordeaux varieties. It is here that winemaker Toby Gillman has established one of New Zealand’s finest wineries that produce seductive old-world-styled Bordeaux Blends. He discovered his passion for wine when he was a student and soon volunteered with his father at the local Providence Vineyard to learn the tricks of the trade.
He traveled to Bordeaux in 1997 and spent a year working at Chateau Angelus, gaining a deeper insight in growing Cabernet Franc which represents the majority of his blends. Due to the large number of notes and photos he took, he was nicknamed “l’Espion”, or “the Spy” and on his return to New Zealand, he was well-equipped in establishing a vineyard in Matakana. He found the perfect site, 0.6 hectares in size on a steep north-facing slope of free-draining, iron-rich volcanic clay, sheltered from the rain by a mountain range and also warmed by the nearby Pacific Ocean. Two-thirds are planted with Cabernet Franc, with the remainder Merlot and Malbec.