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Meaning “smoky river” in Maori, Opawa is a vineyard located on the old river bed of the historic Opawa River in Marlborough. The stony river gravels absorb the sun’s warmth during the day, radiating it back onto the grapes at night, evolving the delicious aromas and flavours in these wines.

Our grapes are picked in the cool of night, under the moonlight, to ensure these pristine flavours are perfectly preserved in our wines.

Made by Moonlight

The Wines

Sauvignon Blanc

This wine is bright lemon colour with a hint of green. Exotic perfumes leap from the glass with vivacious aromas of fresh lychee, passionfruit and hints of fresh herbs. The palate is refreshing and intense, displaying crisp citrus notes and passionfruit flavours, this wine is well balanced and focused with crisp acidity and a long, juicy, mouth-watering finish.

Tasting Notes: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Awards & Reviews

Pinot Gris

This wine is pale lemon in colour with fragrant aromas of honeysuckle, peach, apricots and spices. The palate displays white peaches along with subtle nutty characters, hints of citrus and has a creamy texture with a crisp and refreshing finish. Opawa Pinot Gris is a versatile food wine and matches well with a variety of dishes - especially lightly spiced Asian influenced cuisine.

Tasting Notes: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Awards & Reviews

Pinot Noir

The nose shows fruit characters of ripe plums and wild blackberries with savoury spices and a hint of toasty oak. Elegant and juicy on the palate, it displays red fruit flavours and hints of liquorice accompanied by soft, fine tannins. This wine has an elegant structure, silky texture and juicy acidity to give freshness, and it culminates in a lingering finish.

Tasting Notes: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Awards & Reviews


This wine is bright light salmon colour with a charming and vivacious nose of red apples, berry fruits, watermelon and spices, leading into a mouth filling, smooth palate. The finish is fresh, clean and dry. Opawa Rosé is a dry wine that is a perfect aperitif or accompaniment to fresh summer cuisine.

Tasting Notes: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

The Land

The Opawa vineyard is located on the historic river bed of the old Opawa river. The Opawa river was fed from the Wairau river until the Wairau plains were developed for agriculture and flood protection measures were put in place, changing the course of the river and leaving part of the old river bed dry. The stony soils are ideally suited for grape vines but not much else! Water drains freely, which grapevines like, and heat is absorbed from the bright Marlborough sunshine during the day, to be radiated back onto the grapes at night.

The vineyard was developed by Nautilus Estate who purchased the land in two parcels in 2001 and 2003. The combined plot is 25 hectares of very stony soil which was wild scrub land before grapevines were planted in surrounding area in the mid 1990s. The vineyard is in a warm, frost free site that ripens early in the season and produces an intensely fruity and fragrant style of wine, with a soft, juicy texture and great overall balance.

  • Soil type: Stony silt loam
  • Elevation: 40m above sea level
  • Predominant wind direction: NW
  • Rainfall: 647 mm per year (long term average)
  • Sunshine hours: 2457 hrs. per year (long term average)
  • Sourced: Wine Marlborough 2012

We also secure fruit from other Marlborough vineyards to compliment the flavours of our own Opawa vineyard.

Where to Buy

Mail Order


New Zealand



Samuel Smith & Son


Fine Star
  • 14 Bis Street 430
  • Sangkat Phsar Doeum Thkove, Khan Chamkarmom, Phnom Penh
  • T: +855 0 23 996 182
  • E:


Pacific Wines & Spirits
  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
    B & W
  • 1179 King Street West, Suite 016
  • Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3C5 Canada
  • T: +1 416 531 5553 F: +1 416 531 1320
  • E:


Johs M Klein Distribution A/S
  • Priorparken 845, Postbox 839, 2605 Brondby
  • T: +45 70 23 1211
  • E:

East Timor

Dili Deli
  • Comoro Road, Dili
  • T: +67 0723 0315


ANZ Wines

Hong Kong

Summergate Fine Wines


Cassidy Wines Ltd

New Zealand

Negociants New Zealand
  • Unit 2D, 95 Ascot Avenue, Greenlane, Remuera
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • T: +64 9 531 5222 F: +64 9 531 5205
  • E:


Vinarius Independent Wine & Spirits


Bond Liquor Store

South Africa

Winery of Good Hope

United Kingdom

Fells UK

United States

The Winebow Group


The Warehouse
  • 36/26 Phuong 25, Duong D2
  • Quan Binh Thanh, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
  • T: +84 8 512 6400 F: +84 8 512 6401
  • E:

Contact Us


  • PO Box 107
  • Renwick 7243
  • New Zealand

Office: C/O Nautilus Estate

  • 12 Rapaura Road
  • Marlborough
  • New Zealand

  • T: +64 3 572 6008

  • F: +64 3 572 9374
  • E: