Brian Bicknell had been making wine in different parts of the world for about 15 years before deciding to return to NZ and settle in Marlborough. Arriving in 1996 he could see that the vineyards in the different valleys of Marlborough produced remarkably unique profiles of wine. At the time, most of Marlborough’s wines were made as regional blends with many individual site characteristics being lost. In other parts of the world specific sites and vineyards were being celebrated and so the idea for Mahi was hatched.
Brian’s winemaking style for Mahi is to allow the vineyards to speak through the wines, with the wines being made in a very ‘hands off’ manner.
For all the single vineyard wines the fruit is hand-picked or sorted prior to being ‘whole-cluster’ pressed at the winery. Fermentation is done with the indigenous yeasts that arrive on the grapes, and barrels (if used) are French, giving more savoury character to the wines. Everything with the Pinot Noir is hand-plunged and to date all have been bottled unfiltered, allowing the true vineyard expression to come through.