This relatively small and young estate, owned and run by the MacDonald family, is situated on the very edge of the Marlborough valley, around 250km north of Christchurch, at the point where the Wairau river meets the ocean.
The family has lived here since the early 1800s and has an incredibly strong bond with the land. Current generation Haysley MacDonald has lived here all his life - just like his parents and grandparents before him, and just like his own four children - and it was he who decided to plant grapes here in 2003.
He was told he was mad to try and farm vines here, where the river and flood canal surround the farm, making it a sort of mini island, as there was too much water and the soil wasn't suitable, but he is already proving people wrong. His family know the land well (they also fish, and planted various other crops here) and have the utmost respect for it - their aim is to listen to it rather than interfere with its working, and to preserve it for future generations.
There are 150 ha of vines - a mixture of sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and pinot noir - which are planted on te Pa's fine, rich alluvial gravel soils. The wines all come from single vineyard plots.
The family takes its work very seriously and the results are paying off: te Pa wines have won various gold medals at competitions already.