From award winning wines to luxury powder rooms, Tantalus Estate has it all!
Founded in 2014, this world-class winery sits on 8.3 hectares of vineyard land in one of the most beautiful destinations in New Zealand. Nestled in the Onetangi Valley, it’s the winemaking heart of the island, and is within walking distance of other wineries as well. Despite the vicinity, however, many Waiheke wine tour participants agree that Tantalus Estate is one of their favourite stop on a tour of the region.
The Valley is chosen by many wineries for its fantastic geography. The perfectly situated spot is protected from cold weather and wet west and southwesterly winds. The drier climate, with sandy soil and iron and manganese oxide deposits, makes for the best grape growing. The light and warmth over the long growing season allows the grapes to reach full potential.
The Tantalus winemaking philosophy focuses on blends that are complex, interesting, textural and meant to age. Each of the wines served has evolved to contain a balanced flavor profile. While most luxury wineries process approximately eight tons of grapes an hour, Tantalus processes at the very most, five tons a day, in order to offer the absolute best quality. It all starts with the staff hand selecting the best of the best grape clusters in every single row, before weighing them and then sorting them by hand once they’re in the winery. They use smaller bins during harvest, to avoid any crushing, and the grapes are in the winery 15 minutes after being taken from the vine. Then, the grapes go through a slow process, being basket pressed and transferred to French oak barriques. Once finished, the wines are sealed under a natural cork, for continued evolution.
The various reds offered include Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The whites include Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
The original plantings were established in 1998, with almost 4 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. In 2002, an additional almost 2 hectares of Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris were planted. With the founding occurring in 2014, the staff identified the under-performers and planted an additional hectare of additional Cabernet and Syrah clones.
Attracting both visitors from afar and locals alike, Tantalus Estate offers not just great wine, but also a fabulous experience overall. Walk through the dining areas with their intricately designed decor, and Old World atmosphere; the private dining room features an intimate patio, and you can host your events there, with up to 100 guests. Enjoy fine cuisine, alongside your wine tastings. The dining carries on the Old World theme, with rustic dishes that have a refined touch. Now, you can even enjoy a frosty beer, just in case one of your fellow travelers isn’t the same oenophile as you. Your day at Tantalus Estate will undeniably be an experience to remember.
The central building offers more elegance set among the vines. Walk between nature-filled courtyards, a huge tasting room, cozy lounges and even a wine library.
Tantalus Estate’s mission goes beyond producing great wine and dining, to enhancing the Onetangi Valley itself. As well as planting a large variety of grapes, the winery has also planted thousands of native species, simultaneously ridding the land of exotic and invasive weeds. This is creating a fantastic, richer, more natural habitat for the various species of native birds, insects and small animals. With more than 3,000 square meters of wildflowers, biodiversity is increased and beneficial insects are attracted, including ladybirds and parasitic wasps, while driving away invasive insect species, like mealy bugs, without the use of pesticides. In addition, on-site beehives keep the ecosystem happy and healthy.
AWARD WINNING WINE
You may think that a winery can’t have it all — a great location, beautiful architectural plus fantastic wines. However, Tantalus Estate has accomplished just this. Their first vintage wine has been proven to be absolutely excellent, with wine masters rating their 2014 Évoque a score of 96 out of 100 points. In addition, the vineyard has received gold, silver and bronze awards in worldwide wine competitions, such as the Air New Zealand wine show an the Wine International Competition. The winery is totally accredited under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing Programme, for their continuous improvement to protecting the environment while creating luxury wines. They’re also part of the New Zealand Wine Standard Management Programme.
All of this is accomplished by the excellent staff, and Tantalus Estate boasts some star professionals. Chris Ward is the viticulturist, with 10 years of prior experience at the neighbouring Stonyridge Vineyard. He’s also worked in dining and hospitality all over the world, as well as in wine tourism. Now, Chris oversees vineyard and estate management, and is a passionate advocate of sustainability, helping Tantalus obtain prestigious Sustainable Vineyard and Winery accreditations. Alex Perez is the Argentinian winemaker on staff, with similar experience all over the world. His degree in food science and technology, as well as his diploma in advanced viticulture and microbiology, makes him a respected food scientists and award-winning winemaker. He works alongside Chris in the winery, and also oversees the estate’s onsite microbiology laboratory. His other passions? Brine-infused cheeses, mushrooms, chocolates and lemoncellos, as well as the estate beehives.
Discover Tantalus Estate for yourself!