One hundred years - that's quite a family winemaking heritage, and a century of winemaking skills and the desire to produce excellent vintages is what Ngatarawa Wines has behind it.

The Corban family is as synonymous with winemaking as it gets in this country.

Alwyn and Brian Corban, who are cousins, own and manage the Bridge Pa winery which lies within the "triangle" of that region which is on the western side of the Heretaunga Plains.

Fittingly, it is situated off Ngatarawa Rd and it is a stunning estate to behold, and little wonder it is as renowned for fine wines as it is for hosting and staging fine outings and events.

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There is history in the Corban name and equally plenty of history across the Ngatarawa landscape, as the stables, which forms its heart, was built about 120 years ago.

It is a remarkable landscape.

The great lawns which host events surround a long water lily centrepiece complete with delicate fountains. On either side, trees form aisles.

The stable had indeed been racing stables, that is before Alwyn Corban and business partner Garry Glazebrook (whose background was in farming) transformed it into a winery in 1981.

They planted the vineyard at a time when there were only eight wineries in Hawke's Bay and their original planting of chardonnay grapes was the largest in the region at that time.

But there was plenty of vintage variety going in - sauvignon blanc, merlot, riesling and gewurztraminer and semillion emerged - and to acclaim.

The Corbans took over the reins in 1999 after the Glazebrook family sold their shareholding to them.

One example of the crafting and passion that goes into wines bearing the Ngatarawa name is the Alwyn brand, because when the winemaker places his name on the label you know he is producing something special.

There is Alwyn Chardonnay, Merlot Cabernet and Noble Harvest Riesling and they are only created in small volumes for what are considered to be exceptional vintages.

Then there is the Stables Reserves - again produced in fine vintages.

Ngatarawa is a tranquil, historic part of the Bay's fine wine landscape and well worth a visit.