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When Monty Knight first planted vines at Okahu Estate in the Far North of New Zealand in 1984, many people were very sceptical about producing fine wine from the area. These detractors had to eat their words in 1996, when Okahu’s Kaz Shiraz 1994 won Gold and the trophy for other reds at the 1996 Auckland Royal Easter Show. Since then, the winery has gone on to become Northland’s most awarded winery, winning more gold, top of its class and countless silver and bronze awards, not only for wines from their own Estate vineyards, but also contract grown fruit from Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Te Kauwhata and other Northland vineyards.
Monty, a high profile Kaitaia retailer and entrepreneur, has diverse interests in the business world and a record of public service for Northland. He is the pioneer of the renaissance of wine making in Northland, following on from the legacy established by Croatian settlers in the early 1900’s.
A colourful, controversial and entertaining public speaker, Monty travels New Zealand and the world with his wine and wine making stories. He heads the viticultural and wine making team at Okahu Estate and if you’re lucky, you may find him serving you on a visit to their cellar door.
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