The origin of today's winery in the area Hawke's Bay
(North Island) dates back to 1854, when English immigrant John Chambers founded a sheep farm. His third son Bernard planted in 1892 for the first time vines and founded in 1896 the oldest winery New Zealand
, The family sold it in 1919, after several changes of ownership, it was acquired in 1978 by John Buck. The winery is named after the Te Mata Peak (in the Te Mata Hills), which was formed after an ancient Maori legend from the body of a giant (Te Mata = the giant). The vineyards cover a total of 119 hectares, of which 75 in Woodthorpe (there are still 135 hectares, which are unplanted). The vineyards are planted among others with the varieties Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gamay Noir, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Viognier. The wines are produced under the labels Awatea, Bullnose, Cape Crest, Coleraine, Elston, Rymer's Change and Woodthorpe. Top wines include Awatea Cabernet-Merlot, Bullnose Syrah, Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc, Coleraine Cabernet-Merlot and Elston Chardonnay. An interesting red wine cuvée is Woodthorpe Syrah-Viognier, which is mainly blended from the red variety Syrah with a small fraction of the white variety Viognier.