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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.
This wine is bright lemon colour with a hint of green. Exotic perfumes leap from the glass with vivacious aromas of citrus peel, passionfruit skins and hints of fresh kaffir lime leaves. 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.
This wine is pale lemon in colour with fragrant aromas of orange blossom, pears, quince 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.
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.
This wine is bright light salmon colour with a charming and vivacious nose of ripe peaches, pomegranate and spices, leading into a mouth filling, smooth palate. The finish is fresh, clean and refreshing. Opawa Rosé is a dry wine that is a perfect aperitif or accompaniment to fresh summer cuisine.
Brett Bermingham grew up in the Marlborough Region and started his career in the wine industry at Highfield, Cloudy Bay and Rapaura Vintners Limited before gaining international winemaking experience in Victoria and Oregon. He returned home to work at Rapaura Vintners where Nautilus was a shareholder at the time. Brett specialised in making Nautilus Pinot, working in our dedicated Pinot facility until he joined Nautilus officially in 2006. He is generally to be found wandering through the Pinot Winery with a barrel thief in his hand and a smile on his face. Brett has had responsibility for the Opawa range of wines since 2008.
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.
We also secure fruit from other Marlborough vineyards to compliment the flavours of our own Opawa vineyard.