Rod McDonald earned his chops over thirteen years in Hawkes Bay, nine of them with Villa Maria’s Vidal’s Estate. On the back of winning New Zealand Winemaker of the Year in 2006 Rod went out on his own, consulting for other wineries and starting his own somewhat rambling portfolio of brands, most of which are gaining significant recognition in their respective categories. The ‘Te Awanga’ range is sourced from the ‘home’ vineyards, located at the cellar door site. ‘Quarter Acre’ is a step up into single vineyard wines exploring sub-regional terroir. ‘Two Gates’ offers organic but exceptionally elegant examples of Hawkes bay classics. The ‘One Off’ range is a one-size fits all for anything else Rod wants to make - many of which are so good that this ‘non-brand’ threatens to outshine the others. With beautiful wine styling as well as obvious advantages in sourcing quality juice, the confidence and swagger of Rod McDonald wines seems to be nothing if not justified.
What The Critics Say
96/100 Bob Campbell MW
"From 25-year-old vines in Havelock North. Concentrated, textural chardonnay with peach, nectarine, bran biscuit, spicy oak and a solid thread of struck-flint and mineral flavours give the wine a nod in the direction of Burgundy. A serious chardonnay with cellaring potential. 07 NOV 2019." Drink 2019 - 2026
94/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Joe Czerwinski
"For a medium to full-bodied wine, Te Awanga's 2018 Chardonnay has an impressive structure, built around a core of citrusy acids and buttressed by fine French oak. The flesh is all white peaches and pineapple, with a generous, silky-custardy texture, while mineral notes of struck flint appear on the nose and wet stones show up on the lingering finish. This could live up to a decade." Drink 2020 - 2027
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