The giant chief Rongokako had to prove his love for the beautiful Hinerakau by completing an impossible task - eating a path through the hills to the sea. Almost finished creating this new pathway for their people, he died beside his final bite. His body became the high peaks of the range, Te Mata O Rongokako or ‘The Face of Rongokako’, forming the ridgeline known as The Sleeping Giant.
Te Mata Estate is a winery of place. Gifted this name by Ngāti Kahungunu, our vineyards and winery were established in these hills in the nineteenth century.
This unique winemaking heritage site was the first in New Zealand to be protected under conservation law for its viticultural history - celebrated today as the Te Mata Special Character Zone.
Over the Pacific, the sun rises here each day to shine on one of the first places in the world to greet daybreak. Morning mists form the soft, white-feather cloak proud Hinerakau lays across the giant among us, Te Mata O Rongokako - the chieftain who died for his people, and for love.