At Forager Wine, it all started with a curiosity to let nature be more involved. The fact that we were pioneering genuine wild fermentation in Aotearoa was not my initial goal.
My goal was a little more modest. I wanted to make a small batch of wine that I could truly call my own – and, who knows, perhaps something to pass onto the kids one day if things worked out alright.
Focusing on Pinot Noir that defines what we love about this variety – it can balance a fine line between savoury and varietal fruit. Pushing boundaries while adhering to the traditional art of making wine.
When you plant the finest variety of wine in the world, in the most optimal limestone hills, located in cool climate weather perfection, you allow a wine to speak of place.
Enter ‘Forager’ – hand picked hillside grapes, using wild vineyard fermentations, no fining or filtration and aging without the use of heavy oak. It’s Pinot Noir with purity – and we think it’s the finest natural expression of this classic legend.
We are so glad you found us.
There’s a very good reason why the best grapes are planted in this location.
We’re fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with dedicated grape growers and passionate farmers – The Black family. Their farm, ‘Isolated Hill’ – is uniquely situated on the limestone hills of Waiau, North Canterbury – 40 minutes scenic drive from the Waipara grape growing region, in the South Island of New Zealand. Andy and Jill Black first planted their renown vines back in 2000; 0.7 hectares of Pinot Noir to Abel and 667 clones. Vine density is 5000/ha, encouraging roots to dive deep into the limestone fissures.
The vineyard is located on the same hillside as the Amuri Limeworks, providing the ultimate mix of geology and cool climate. The north-west facing vines are tended by hand through frosty mornings to baking in mid-summer afternoons. Overlooking the Waiau River, this is beyond doubt a beautiful place to enjoy a glass of the finest wine.
The Heartbreak Grape
After many years working both locally and internationally in Europe and North America Dom Maxwell decided to start up Forager Wine in 2012. Dom has been making wine in North Canterbury since 2005 (incidentally a dry and robust year for Pinot!), and resides most of his time working as winemaker for the renowned Greystone Wines in the Waipara Valley, where the owners have let him follow his dreams of having his own small quality driven wine company.
Dom’s philosophy on winemaking was further moulded through working international harvests in Burgundy, Oregon and Rheingau.
Dom and his family are North Canterbury locals, enjoying the abundant outdoors on offer in the region, which includes of course wine and food. Dom has twice been named NZ Winemaker of the Year, accolades that place him in a small group of inspired winemakers.
Aotearoa New Zealand has a wonderful, unique natural life – birds and trees not seen anywhere else in the world, marine life that flourishes around our significant coastline and islands, stunning mountains with glaciers, carved gorges and riverbeds. The history of Aotearoa is partly what allows us to make wine in such an amazing environment. But pressures of modern life are putting huge strains on wild places here. Forest and Bird puts these wild places back to the forefront of our minds, forming an integral part of protecting land and sea for future generations.
Every bottle of Forager sold helps, with 25% of profits going to directly support their many causes. Click on the link to read more about them.