Tora Bay was founded in 2003 by Martin Bonifant, a 4th generation farmer in Marlborough with a background in finance. Most people don't realize what a perfect combination this is because most peoplewho get into the wine business think it's all about the wine and the business part falls off the truck. Martin knows better and that's whyhis operation is successful. It also doesn't hurt that his wines arespectacular.
Although he was brought up in Marlborough, located at the Northern end of the South Island, he placed his vineyard in Martinborough at the South end of the North Island. Here, it's a bit warmer, the grapes are riper and fuller of body. The property is also certified organic and sustainable.
Grape growing and winemaking in New Zealand is now 200 yearsold. Yet it's only been in the last 30 years that any of us even knewthat. Most properties were small, single proprietor wineries whosesmall production was usually consumed by the locals.
As several wineries increased in size, they looked for other markets to sell their products and, to no one's surprise, they were enthusiastically accepted. There is a very distinctive flavor in the Sauvignon Blancs grown here. The grapefruit component can be more pronounced here unless it's held in check.
Tora Bay has succeeded because their wines are perfectly balanced. They show lovely apricot and white peach balance, with the telltale grapefruit, but all held in check for raw oysters, shrimp Diablo or swordfish stuffed with sundried tomatoes and goat cheese.