It all started when the Didsbury family fell in love with a special piece of beach-side land about an hour north of Auckland in 1986.
Many thousand tree plantings later including nut, fruit and natives trees, followed by establishing several lakes and an olive grove on the estate, housing bees and sheep and of course vineyard plantings in 1995, with their first vintage celebrated in 1998, the picture perfect property was almost complete. Almost…
The build of a glass house overlooking one of the ponds and a well curated sculpture trail turned the idyllic beach-side property into the must-visit estate Brick Bay is today.
Let’s find out a bit more about the Brick Bay and their wines in the following Q&A:
What’s the story behind the brand name?
Going back in history, a small brickworks had been established in the 1840s adjacent to the beach, using the red clay and to this day portions of these bricks emerge from the sand at low tide…thus ‘Brick Bay’.
Most memorable winemaking moment
Well, it almost wasn’t a winemaking moment at all as the truck driver transporting our grapes to West Brook Winery (who have made our wines for 20 years) managed to get lost.
He explained that he didn’t carry a mobile phone to be able to locate the destination as the battery tended to run down…….!!
Winery dog/cat? Or other pet animals?
Walter, our much loved Brick Bay farm dog, is a lovely 2-year-old border collie who keeps everything running on the farm.
We also have sheep, pigs, and lots of birds including Chardonnay, a distinctive looking white duck.
Funniest customer tasting story?
Although we encourage our guests to articulate the flavours they identify in the wines, stressing there is no right or wrong answer, we were floored by one response: “carrot”. No, wrong!!!
2) Browse around the independent shops in Matakana Village, then catch a movie at the boutique Matakana Cinemas followed by a bite to eat at Matakana Market Kitchen or The Vintry Wine Bar.
3) Pick-up some fresh local produce & listen to some live music at the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market (every Saturday 8am – 1pm).
Our vintage parties are …
Relaxed and informative, ranging from wine matched lunches to set menu dinners where our winemaker James and farm manager Brian attend and talk about how the wines have been created.
Watch the Brick Bay Story come to life below…
3 Must-Sip Brick Bay Wines
Brick Bay’s highly acclaimed Pinot Gris is probably what they’re best known for. Being one of the first vineyards in New Zealand to plant Pinot Gris vines back in 1995, this year marks their 20th year harvesting this variety.
Their Rosé is another firm favourite which regularly sells out well before the launch of the new vintage, while their brand new Chardonnay also has the potential to achieve cult status.
Brick Bay Chardonnay 2016
Matakana | $44
Brick Bay’s first ever Chardonnay!
This slightly immature teenager keeps you entertained with its youthful, flinty character. Think apple, citrus and white stone-fruit aromas and flavours, perfectly balanced with subtle vanilla, spice and brioche characters.
Only 60 cases have been made of this inaugural release and there’s a limit of 2 bottles per purchase. So hurry and secure yours now for the cellar or your next family gathering.
Brick Bay Pinot Gris 2017
Matakana | $36
This is Brick Bay’s 20th vintage of their flagship Pinot Gris.
The fruit from their 23 year-old vines created a lovely luscious, off-dry Pinot Gris. Pear, apricot and citrus are leaping out of the glass, paired with floral, honied notes and a crisp, lingering finish.
Definitely a must-sip this winter!
Brick Bay Rosé 2017
Matakana | $30
Made from our Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec, Brick Bay’a complex Rosé offers a trip down memory lane.
Beautiful blush and off-dry in style, it brings back memories of the never-ending summer we’ve just enjoyed. Red berries picked straight from the garden, gran’s rhubarb crumble with hints of spice and a dollop cream on top and evening strolls filled with sun-dried herbal aromas have been bottled up by the talented winemaking team at Brick Bay for you to enjoy all year long.
Also, make sure to check out our “A Day in Matakana Wine Country” guide here.