Back in 1986, David and Mark Mason, with friend and winemaker Tony Bish, began with a simple philosophy of making more wine than they could drink, and sharing the rest. They had the perfect place to make it happen, under the shade of Puketapu (sacred hill), along the white, volcanic cliffs and river land gravels of the Dartmoor Valley in Hawke’s Bay. They were precious days by the river with friends, family and food.
The Sacred Hill vineyards in the Dartmoor Valley have been home to David all his life.
Growing up on the family farm, David and his brother Mark were handy ‘free labour’ when their father Ian became one of the first farmers to diversify by planting grapes. After a stint overseas, including vintages in Bordeaux, David returned to Dartmoor in 1986 and with Mark and Tony Bish, decided it would be a bit of fun to produce their own label. Sacred Hill was born.
“We focus on quality but we’re not into pretentiousness. Great wine should be enjoyed with friends, family and food – it’s why we started Sacred Hill and it’s still what excites us.”
Tony is a member of the original Sacred Hill trio. He was bitten by the winemaking bug in the early 80’s (realising surfing really wasn’t a career option). Now, 32 vintages later Tony is one of New Zealand’s most respected winemakers, with a focus on quality and texture that has seen Sacred Hill wines escalate to the front of the New Zealand wine scene
“What am I aiming for with our wines? … Simple. Sheer, delicious drinkability.”
Our Viticulture Team
Jill and Robbie are our viticulture specialists. Along with the rest of the team in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough, they manage our own vineyards and partner closely with our growers. Always working closely with the winemaking team, they ensure Sacred Hill has access to the best fruit from prime vineyards in key growing areas.
Our Winemaking Team
Dom, Simon and Tony are key members of our experienced winemaking team. Led by Tony, the team carefully crafts and nurtures our range of wines to create distinct regional and varietal characteristics – always teasing out the textural style and soft mouth feel that are a trademark of Sacred Hill wines.
Sacred Hill Wines is committed to environmental wellbeing.
We have been involved in Sustainable Winegrowing NZ initiatives for many years, and were one of the country’s first wineries to be successfully audited and accredited. Our estate vineyards have also been accredited and successfully running under this programme since 2000.
We are also a member of the New Zealand Packaging Accord, a voluntary initiative to cut down on wasteful packaging.
We constantly seek new ways to improve vineyard and winery practices to ensure an environmentally sustainable business.