Set in a secluded valley of rolling green pastures about 10 minutes drive from Mangawhai Heads, Lochiel Estate boasts superb views of the Brynderwyn Hills and surrounding Olive Groves and farms. The house overlooks the vines creating a tranquil setting for the perfect weekend getaway.
We have a fully operational vineyard and winery.
The first plantings of vines - Chardonnay, Merlot and Malbec – occurred in 2002 followed by more Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Gris in 2005 bringing the total to 4500 vines over approximately 3 hectares.
Rob left school to study engineering but was soon lured into the wine industry. In 1998 he left Auckland for Christchurch and Lincoln University. During his degree Rob worked around Canterbury and was a cellar hand at Rapaura vintners in Marlborough for 2 vintages. On completion of his studies he moved back to Auckland, working under Michelle Richardson at Villa Maria. After 2 years the travel bug was too hard to resist so he left for Europe in 2002, ending up working in 9 different European countries as well as Cyprus. Rob returned to New Zealand in 2008 and now, based in Auckland he divides his time between making wine for Lochiel and his own label, INVIVO. Rob is married to Michelle and they have 3 young sons.
Liz retired in the 90’s after 35 years as a registered nurse, the latter years working for Red Cross as a First Aid Education Officer, going into schools, training colleges and businesses instructing people in general first aid and CPR. However Liz has always been passionate about plants making her a natural viticulturist, formalised by her completion of the EIT Viticulture course in 2003. Liz works tirelessly in the Lochiel vineyards in order to secure us the best quality fruit. Her expertise is not limited there however as she also takes care of the other 8 ha of grounds which she has bursting with colour through her love of roses. On top of this Liz manages the Lochiel Bed and Breakfast and on request will cook up a fabulous meal to perfectly match our wines.
Gary retired in 2005 from a 40 year career in the Paint and Industrial Chemical business. He worked in the paint industry in Australia followed by A.C. Hatrick’s in Australia and New Zealand for many years and in the 1980’s was marketing manager for the high flying Petrocorp exporting Methanol around the world. With over 30 years of Marketing and General Management experience Gary is definitely in his element in the multi-faceted wine business. To further his expertise Gary undertook an EIT course (Hawkes Bay) in Oenology -wine science in 2003 and so now assists Rob in the day to day running of the winery. You will see Gary at the Farmers market selling our products or on the tractor spraying or in the lab doing analysis. He is also currently a member and past Chairman of the Northern Winegrowers Association.
Lochie and his mate Scooter from next door are our resident Jack Russell – Foxies. They are experts in bird control especially in the nets and it is constant work keeping on top of the rabbit and pukeko population.
They are also a great welcoming committee, always on the job letting us know when visitors arrive.
We are only a few minutes from the beautiful white sandy beach of Mangawhai Heads. Activities in the area include an excellent all weather golf course, Fishing Charters, Tennis, walking tracks, water-skiing, horse riding, to name a few.
Also, well worth a visit is Bennets Chocolate Factory for handcrafted top quality chocolate and the Pipi Gallery for beautiful locally made pottery and jewelry. Mangawhai now boasts it's own fabulous museum on Molesworth Drive just before the Heads. A great show case of the history and surrounds of Mangawhai. Just up the road is the Mangawhai Adventure Park, full of exciting things for the children and adults alike.
About 40 minutes drive is the Kauri Museum. This is an excellent museum and well worth the drive.
If you missed the last Mangawhai Walking Week End , do check it out for next year. 25th/26th of March 2017. Most definately worth a visit and don't forget the Food and Wine Festival on the Saturday afternoon. Fabulous music, food and wine for all. Gives you an opportunity to try the local products. The website has all the information - www.mangawhaiwalkingw.e.co.nz
See you there.