It started with a vision

To find the soul of place you need only to look at the people. 
Mahana continues to emanate the spirit of the
people who have touched its ground and made it all which it stands for today. 

The vineyard was formed in 2000 when Glenn and Renée Schaeffer met Philip and Chan Woollaston and discovered a shared vision of creating an estate where quality wines would be crafted.

They also shared a love of art, literature and the Nelson landscape, so their dream was to develop a winery that was not only highly functional, but was also sensitive to the dramatic landscape, so that it reflected their creative passion. The sculptures and art on the vineyard and in the winery express a deeper understanding of the connection between the art of winemaking and the creation of art itself.

Together, they achieved that dream. Renée Schaeffer and the Woollastons have since moved on to other life journeys, yet the winery stands as a testament of their commitment to respect the grapes and produce honest wines. The Woollastons maintain their minority interest in the winery, as they have since its inception. In 2013, Glenn moved to New Zealand to pick up the torch and continue the vision for the future.

Scroll across the images to see the key moments in our journey

  • 2000

    The Vineyard was formed

  • 2001

    The Vineyard began planting

  • 2005

    First Vintage

  • 2006

    Winery completed and official opening

  • 2008

    The vineyard began the transformation to organic and the last of the vines were planted.

  • 2011

    The winery and vineyard were certified organic.

  • 2014

    The cellar door was renovated.

  • 2014

    The Cellar Door & Kitchen comes into its own.

  • 2015

    Michael Glover joins our team as winemaker.

  • 2015

    Woollaston changes its name to Mahana and new branding initiatives are launched.

  • 2015

    Mahana Villa Joins Qualmark's Luxury Lodge program