"Good water, good life; poor water, poor life; no water, no life" Sir Peter Blake

Thursday, October 01, 2015

it's all in a name

When we bought Mazuran we fell in love with her.  

When she was built in South Africa, her launching name was Jingle Bells. (She has a sister-ship - being built and launched in 1992, and rightly named Jingle Bells II - now named Planet Surf that is a 53"version).

Although many remember the catamaran more so from the name Jingle Bells as she was quite a boat for her time, travelling from South Africa to New Zealand and making it into a couple of magazines - the previous owners to us changed her name to Mazuran.   As we had never heard of the name Mazuran they told us that they had renamed their boat after the surname of wine makers that made matured wines in Henderson. (they loved the port, and even gave us a bottle to enjoy!)

So we ventured on a visit of our own - meet Rado Hladilo, from Mazuran's Vinyard Ltd.

Rado Hladilo, very proud owner of Mazuran's Vineyard,
Henderson, Auckland

History of Mazuran's Vineyard 
-(exert taken from Mazuran's website www.mazurans.co.nz)

George Mazuran arrived in New Zealand in 1926, from Croatia, and bought a large area of land behind Lincoln Road, Henderson in 1938 where the first vintage was harvested 4 years later. The difficulties encountered selling his wine post World War II, inspired Mazuran to become an advocate for the sale of wine and initiated his long career as a political lobbyist. His strong conviction for justice saw Mazuran become one of the most successful lobbyists in New Zealand politics and in 1971 he was awarded the OBE for his services to the wine industry. In 2005, Mazuran's contribution to the New Zealand wine industry was further acknowledged with a place amongst the inaugural inductees into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame.
Photo of a photo: George Mazuran, after receiving the O.B.E from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Buckingham Palace, 2nd November 1972
The moment you arrive at Mazuran's you realise you have come to a very special place. On one side of the intimate cellar door there are well-ordered shelves of sherry and port, while the other is filled with pictures and memorabilia sharing the lives of the Mazuran family, which has been making fortified wines in this place for generations. The sweet smell of port lingers in the air and you know you will not leave without tasting the fruits of their labours. 
Now run by Rado Hladilo (who was voted Winemaker of the Year at the 2007 San Francisco International Wine Competition) and his sons Rado and Antony, it remains the only New Zealand winery to distill its own grape brandy for fortifying its wines, many of which are made using the juice from grapes planted in 1938.
The Mazuran sherries are made in the off-dry Amontillado style, while there is a full range of Tawny, Ruby and Vintage ports from which to make your selection. If seeking a real treat, you may consider a bottle or two of vintage port from stocks that go back as far as 1942. If the price of these rare wines has you looking for something more recent, you will not be disappointed because all are made to a very high standard.
The family is very proud of its success at competitions and will happily explain the origins of the medals and trophies, some of which date back to the mid-1950s. Antony has described Mazuran's four double-golds at the 2008 San Fransisco International Wine Competition as their own 'Olympic medals'.
There is pride aplenty at Mazuran's, but sharing that with visitors and taking them through the fascinating world of fortified wines clearly still brings them great satisfaction".

Some of the ' Rare Old Wines' with a sale price that averages around $900 per bottle
Mazuran's Vineyards Ltd, Henderson, Auckland 

We thoroughly enjoyed talking to Rado about the wine, his 26 footer he once owned  his memories of the cypress and pine trees as a kid (the cypress now border the driveway), and some of the history of the building site and it's uniqueness amongst the industrial and busy Lincoln Road in Henderson.  It is very much worth a look, just to see this special place, it's small, cosy and has a lovely feeling of warmth...and history.

So when people ask where did the name Mazuran come from.... well now you have some insight of that it has a history of wine in NZ and happy memories attached to it!

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