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It all began here. Around 1350 AD, it is said, the first canoes rode the crashing waves of the Wairau Bar in to the Wairau river mouth. People set foot in Aotearoa-New Zealand, perhaps for the very first time.
Nestled between the mighty Wairau River and the azure waters of the Cook Strait ocean, with Cloudy Bay directly in front, the Pā’s home block vineyard at the Wairau Bar is as majestic as it is productive.
This precious piece of land on the Wairau Bar is the backbone of our family. Founder and owner of te Pā, Haysley MacDonald traces his ancestry back to the early Māori settlers who landed on Wairau Bar 800 years ago. He whakapapas to ancestors who have worked this land for generations. That deep connection to land and sea, through generations of whānau, ensures everything we do is full of love, care and respect - and we’re proud to bring it all to life in our wines.
That spirit of discovery and independence lives on today. In 2003 Haysley and his family started a new adventure, converting their dairy and crop farm into vineyards and in 2011 te Pā was born.
Haysley, his parents Phillip and Christine, his partner Julie and their five tamariki (children) are as connected to this land as their ancestors were, with the same commitments – respect for the land, keeping simple things in balance and to be proudly independent.
The distinctive te Pā logo is a literal representation of the hei matau, a traditional Māori fish hook, which illustrates the MacDonald family's connection to the Wairau Bar and the surrounding bodies of water as their source of sustenance. The logo is also symbolic of waru which is 'eight' in Te Reo Māori, which gives a nod to the family's 800-year history on the land.
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