Sustainable Winemaking at Huia Winery

Huia wine

Claire and Mike Allan arrived in Marlborough in 1990 and worked for some of the region’s most famous names before starting Huia in 1996.  A tiny, boutique operation, in comparison to the big players nearby, the focus is on producing outstanding wine in an environmentally-friendly a way as possible.

Claire explains more...

“We were completely blown away by Marlborough when we first visited. It seemed to have the brightest sunshine, the most intensely flavoured wines, be stunningly beautiful and have an endless supply of the freshest produce.  Those early years were spent gaining valuable experience in wineries around Marlborough whilst working the vintage in Champagne at Veuve Cliquot and Taittinger in the off-season. This gave us a great grounding in making bright New World wines, but also an appreciation of the land, heritage and tradition from the Old World.

Since we started Huia, the vineyards have developed with an ever increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability and latterly organics and bio-dynamics.The further we go down the track the more evident it is that healthy clean vineyards are great places to live and work. They produce more characterful wines which every year seem just to get better.  There are three blocks that comprise Huia’s estate vineyards: Home, Shipley and Winsome. All are farmed organically and bio-dynamically with a view to long term improvements in soil structure, biodiversity and providing a healthy environment for everybody who works them.

This has been embraced to the extent of not only freeing the vineyards from chemicals and becoming more reliant on natural practices, but cows have been introduced and wander through the vines; wild flowers are encouraged and grow at the roots of the vines and two beehives are about to arrive to help restore Marlborough’s population of honey bees.

All this work and environmental focus has resulted in our first wines being certified organic with the start of the 2011 vintage. The goal of all wines being fully certified organic and bio-dynamic is just a stone throw away.”


Huia have been members of the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand scheme since 2004. SWNZ encourages all its members to farm their vines in as environmentally-friendly was as possible.


Huia is now certified as a carbon neutral following a rigorous audit of its working practices and the purchase of carbon credits to offset emissions. They are working towards a situation where all emissions are offset by their management of a family-owned forest.


MANA stands for Marlborough Natural Winegrowers and is a group of five artisan producers including Huia that are working together to promote biodynamic viticulture and respect for terroir within the region.

29th September 2010

Company No. 2550982 | 109a Regents Park Road London NW1 8UR | Call: 0845 263 6924 | AWRS Number: XVAW00000101595

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