Our label is uniquely "New Zealand" and at the same time elegant, clean and stylish. We looked at indigenous Maori history for inspiration and the pattern that forms our logo and borders our label is accordingly inspired by the Maori tradition of Kowhaiwhai.
This is the painted scroll design used traditionally on rafters, doors, windows of traditional meeting houses (marae) and the lower part of canoes (waka). Kowhaiwhai are a form of sophisticated mathematical symmetry, rotation, reflection and translation. Kowhaiwhai for example, represent all manner of natural things including, mangopare- hammer head shark, patiki- flounder, ngutu kaka-kaka- beak flower and ngaru- the cutting of the waves as a waka travels through water. It is also made up of pitau, a design based on the young shoot of native ferns.
Originally patterns were red, white and black. White being the natural wood colour, red coming from an ochre (kokowai) and black would be made from soot, each mixed with shark oil. This is also the reason why we chose natural colours for our labels. The colours of our various labels reflect this heritage of colour.
Our "kowhaiwhai" was developed by NZ Artist -Sandy Rogers- who used the design 'Ngaru' which represents the cutting of waves when the waka is moving. This is quite an apt image we feel for our wine label as 'Moutere' in Maori means "sail swiftly for you ". 'Mou'- for you, 'Tere'- sail swiftly, quick. The 'Ngaru' design is also further used by Ngati Kahungunu, one of the local tribes, which gives it a link to the local history and a regional significance.
The pitau design has further been incorporated with 5 points, representing the harakeke or flax bush. We have used this concept to represent our view that we are not only caretakers of the land, but also have to nurture it to produce the best possible for now and time to come. The five-pointed flax design represents this knowledge and understanding of things natural.
A Maori weaver would understand the way a flax bush grows and where and when to cut it to get the best pieces for weaving, while leaving the plant healthy and sustainable. We too, focus on obtaining the healthiest and best possible vines and use the fruit to "weave" something beautiful, wine from our land that will give joy and pleasure for many years.
At the entrance to the restaurant/cellar door is Papatuanuku, carved from an old Totara trunk located on Takaka Hill and is instated as the protector of the terroir of Moutere Hills. It was carved by local Maori and instated on the property following the fire in 2006 when the cellar door and winery burnt down.