TE MOTU History

Island of Long Shelter

The Te Motu Vineyard story began in 1988 when the Dunleavy family procured 30 acres of prime “vineyard valley” and nourished it into a haven of premier wine.

As one of the pioneers of the Waiheke wine movement, the family’s vision was clear from the outset: To master wines of the ‘Bordeaux’ style, comprised predominantly from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

In 1989 the first vines were planted. The first vintage of Te Motu was produced in 1993.

Te Motu’s vineyard lies in the heart of Waiheke Island’s Onetangi Valley, where it is sheltered from the north by the

ridge which guards Onetangi’s famous beach, and from the west by the massive rocky outcrop known as Stonyridge.

One of Te Motu vineyard’s boundaries is formed by the Rangihoua creek, which flows into an inlet of Putiki Bay.
The inlet was named Te Rangihoua (‘day of renewal’) by Tamatekapua – captain of the Maori canoe Te Arawa – because it was his first landfall in the long voyage from Hawaiiki. There, Te Arawa was re­lashed before continuing
on to its final landing place at Maketu.

The vineyard’s name ‘Te Motu’ comes from the original Maori name for Waiheke, Te Motu­Arai­Roa
(‘island of long shelter’).