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About

A Brief History of Mamaku Blue

1980's

In the early 1980’s Harry & Anne Frost were researching ways of making their 100 acre (40 hectare) run off into a profitable viable business venture. Blueberries were discovered quite by accident when a friend told them “you could grow blueberries in Mamaku, they grow on the mountains in America.”  This was followed by months of research and the purchase of 2,000 Blueberry Plants. The first hectare of Blueberries were planted. In these early days Fresh Export was the only market.

1985

Having successfully propagated from their original Blueberry Plants another hectare of orchard was developed.

1988

Cyclone Bola struck, some inspiration was required – winemaking was conceived and trialed. The first brews were small scale and very experimental.

1990

Harry chaired both the New Zealand Blueberry Growers Assoc and the Blueberry Export Council. Ultimately bringing them together under the Commodities Levy Act. Creating an industry body Blueberries New Zealand.

1992

Harry gave up his off farm occupation to be fully committed to the farm, orchard and wine making.

1995

A further hectare this time a later variety of Blueberries were planted.-

1996

Combined with Hort Research Mamaku Blue did on-site Controlled Atmosphere Container Trials. The first real commercial size volume of Blueberry Wine.

1997

“Mamaku Blue” became the brand name and Mamaku Blue Winery Ltd became Rotorua’s first and only Winery. Celebrated and supported by the Mayor of Rotorua City.

1998

Mamaku Blue Winery won its First Medal a Bronze for its Medium Blueberry Wine at the NZ Fruit Winemakers International Competition. This was the first of many Medals won over the years in this competition.

2000

Earth works for the Winery Building started early May. A team of excellent tradesmen built the entire complex, shop, cafe, conference room, reception centre and museum – and we opened ready for the public October just Five months later.

2001

Harry & Anne’s eldest son Phillip came home to join the Company securing Mamaku Blue to the next generation. Phillip brought with him new harvesting methods and a specially imported mechanical Blueberry Harvesting Machine, a substantial investment. Mamaku Blue continue to expand on their specialty product range now including Jams, Jelly, Chutney, Sauces to complement their Wine, Liqueurs and Juice.

2002

“THE GRAND OPENING,” the then Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clarke officially opened the Complex.

2003

Planted another 2 hectare block of Blueberries with earlier varieties to extend our harvesting season. Built the new factory – 35 ton freezer, small blast freezer, 2 cool rooms, wine making facility and grading room.

2006

Interest in Blueberries worldwide was exploding with the health benefits being published internationally. With greater public awareness of the Benefits of this Miracle Berry – “A Little Globe of Health.” A name change from “Mamaku Blue Winery to “Mamaku Blue Blueberry Experience.” Visitors worldwide arrive at Mamaku Blue the only Blueberry Experience of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and possibly the world.

2008

With the decline in Fresh Blueberry Export returns a decision to put more of the crop into process had to be made. Bio Logical Soil Management improved.

2009

With the importing of cheap Frozen Blueberries from China and Chile another market needed to be found. Decision to support Farmers Markets and meet the customers needs personally in Auckland, Mt Maunganui, Tauranga and Rotorua every weekend.

2014

Planted more than 2 hectare block of Blueberries. Improved frost protection systems to protect flowers and fruit during frosty nights in late spring.

 

Awards and Achievements

 

Wine and Liqueur:

  • 1998 Bronze Award – Blueberry Wine – International Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 1999 Silver Award – Blueberry Wine, style Medium – International Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 1999 Silver Award – Blueberry Wine, style Sweet – International Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2000 Silver Award – Blueberry Liqueur – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2003 Bronze Award – Blueberry Liqueur 2002 – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2005 Silver Medal – Blueberry Wine, style Medium 2004 – International Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2005 Silver Medal – Blueberry Wine, style Sweet 2004 – International Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2008 Silver Medal – Sparkling Golden Gooseberry – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2008 Silver Medal – Blueberry Wine, style Dry – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2008 Silver Medal – Plum Liqueur – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2010 Bronze Medal – Blueberry Wine, style Sweet – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2013 Silver Medal – Blueberry Wine, style Medium – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2013 Gold Medal – Blueberry Wine, style Sweet – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2013 Best Red Wine Trophy – Blueberry Wine, style Sweet – National Fruit Wine Competition, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2015 Bronze Medal – Blueberry Wine, Table Wine Class – New Zealand Fruit Wine Awards, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2017 Bronze Medal – Blueberry Liqueur – New Zealand Fruit Wine Awards, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand
  • 2017  Silver Medal – Gooseberry Liqueur – New Zealand Fruit Wine Awards, Fruit Wine & Cider Makers New Zealand

Other:

  • August 2011 Second Place in New Zealand as the favourite Farmers Market stall holder
  • 2012 Massey University Discovery Award – Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Award

 

Accreditations


Orchard and Facilities are HACCP Accredited
Rotorua Sustainable Charter