Since the first harvest in 2006, Tarras Vineyards has also made a name for delivering outstanding expressions of Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. The style is not typical, not mainstream, with more complexity and a European subtlety wrapped up with an unmistakable Marlborough signature.

Originally from Dunedin on the southeast coast of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s south island and of Ngai Tahu descent, Hayden Johnston found himself living and working in the UK in accounting for several years until he was involved in an accident that would alter the course of his life. After becoming the victim of a hit-and-run accident, Hayden moved back to Aotearoa/New Zealand to recover. While on the mend, he was reminded of how much he loved the area. Hayden dreamt of creating an elegant and quality winery in an exclusive location, so when the opportunity to buy a vineyard in Tarras came up in 2002, he decided that the land was too spectacular to pass up.

The vineyard, as well as Hayden’s real-life dream venue, a multi-purpose event facility he created on the vineyard to share the land’s beauty with others, is named The Canyon, after the dramatic and eponymous landform next to the vineyard. The vineyard can be found high up on the terraces of the old goldfields at Bendigo, Central Otago. The wines are made in a sustainable manner, using organic practices to maintain soil health and vine condition, composting, and the use of soil probes to ensure the right amount of water is delivered to each vine.

The wines of Tarras Vineyards consistently deliver outstanding, distinctive expressions that age well. Alongside his Tarras Vineyards wines, Hayden also has his KURU KURU label, which was inspired by his Māori 4th great grandmother, Kuru Kuru, of the Ngai Tahu tribe. In 1836, Hayden’s 4th great grandfather, Captain James Joss, purchased a parcel of land from Chief Tuhawaiki on the remote northern peninsula of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s Stewart Island. Here he met and married Kuru Kuru and, together they lived off the land they loved and passed down their love and commitment to their family origins throughout generations. His ancestry is represented on each bottle of KURU KURU, proudly displaying a portrayal of her moko kauae, the mark carved on her chin, signaling her respected position in the Māori society.

Hayden and KURU KURU are apart of the Tuku Winemakers Collective, which is a group that formed in 2019 made up of Māori owned, New Zealand wineries, focused on bringing together awarded producers based on shared values of land, family and hospitality. The collective is currently comprised of 5 wineries, KURU KURU, Te Pā Family Vineyards, Tiki Wine & Vineyards, Bird Wines, and Jeff Sinnott Wine, with plans to grow the collective significantly in the coming years and the goal of enabling growth for their members in overseas markets and bettering their resources for advocacy and support for Māori businesses and values.


2018 Kuru Kuru Pinot Noir

$540.00 for 12 bottles
for 12 bottles

2023 Tarras Vineyards Pinot Gris

$270.00 for 6 bottles
for 6 bottles

2020 Tarras Vineyards Pinot Noir

$330.00 for 6 bottles
for 6 bottles

2019 Tarras Vineyards 'The Canyon' Pinot Noir

$450.00 for 6 bottles
for 6 bottles

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