Tapi is a small wine company based in Marlborough, New Zealand, run and owned by winemaker Mark Kenneally. Mark specialises in making small batches of premium Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. All of the fruit is sourced from high quality, low-yielding organic vineyards. The winemaking is hands on, using the same organic principles.
Mark moved to Marlborough from his native South Australia in 2009. His background is in viticulture, having grown up around family vineyards, studying, and working in various wine regions including the Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Napa Valley , before settling in Marlborough.
“I’ve always wanted to work for myself and create wines the way I think they should be made. I’ve always had a love for cool climate viticulture and wine styles. Marlborough is a true cool climate region and one that lends itself to the wine styles I’m trying to make.”
The name Tapi is Marlborough slang for Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku. Tapi stands 2885m high, making it New Zealand’s highest peak outside the Southern Alps. It can be seen from all over Marlborough and as far away as Christchurch, Wellington and Taranaki.
The peak is rich in history. It is the scared mountain of the Kurahaupo tribes of Marlborough. The first written reference of Tapi was on February 7, 1770 by Captain James Cook: “Over this land appeared a prodigious High Mountain, the summit of which was covered in snow”. In 1944, on weekend leave from training for the RNZAF, a young Edmund Hillary set about climbing it. Hillary climbed the peak many times in preparation for his famous Everest expedition.
“The history of this mountain fascinates me. When I first moved to Marlborough I climbed it with my wife and a bunch of mates. It was an amazing experience and part of the reason I fell in love with Marlborough and chose to name my wine after it.”