Coleraine vertical fetches $19,000 at charity auction

The collection was donated by Hawke’s Bay family business Stewart Group. (Photo: Stewart Financial Group)

A complete 32-vintage collection of Te Mata Coleraine has fetched NZD $19,000 at this year’s Hawke’s Bay Charity Wine Auction pre-tasting event to raise money for the Cranford Hospice.

Nick Stewart told the NZ Herald that his father Don and mother Mary had “quite a journey” to establish the vertical collection.

That’s an average of NZD $593 per bottle, which must surely create some sort of record. The previous record for a Coleraine vertical was NZD $5640 for a 30 bottle set in 2016, an average of NZD $194 per bottle. The buyer then was Air New Zealand, who generously offered three sets of Coleraine at tastings in Auckland, Sydney and Hawke’s Bay (Huon reviewed the wines tasted in Sydney).

The collection was donated by Hawke’s Bay family business Stewart Financial Group. Hastings-based financial adviser, Nick Stewart, told the NZ Herald that his father Don and mother Mary had “quite a journey” to establish the vertical collection, which dates back to the first Coleraine vintage in 1982. They started collecting Coleraine in about 2000 after moving back to Hawke’s Bay.

“Surprisingly, it was not the ‘great’ years that were hard to find, it was the ‘bad’ years.

“A case in point is the 1988 – that was a tough year – whereas the most famous year, which shot Te Mata Estate to fame, the 1982 – is not as hard to find as the ’88 because people didn’t keep the ’88 – they drank it.”

All wine acquired at auction has been put through the Te Mata wine clinic where wines are opened, tasted and topped-up with fresh corks and foils before being signed by winemaker, Peter Cowley.

Stewart’s favourite vintage was 1989.

The 1989 was magical. I would like to say it was 1982 but it’s so darn hard to find that it’s not something you want to develop as your favourite because you’re not going to be able to have it very often.”

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