Askerne Estate Winery
We are committed to producing elegant fine wines that reflect our unique site and our winemaking philosophy and passion. The Askerne vineyard and winery was developed by John and Kathryn Loughlin in 1993. Initially purchased as 28 acres of bare river terraces, the property has been expanded to 50 acres which are being progressively planted. We aspire to produce wines which complement food but are vibrant and exciting when standing alone. Askerne is named after an old Yorkshire Spa town which was the birth place of Kathryn Loughlin. The trees on the label are a representation of the gum trees, which are a major feature of the winery site.
Situated in the winegrowing region of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.
- A single estate winery.
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They chose the Askerne site for its mix of soils and particularly the very free-draining former river bed. The site had previously been used to grow asparagus and later as a stud farm for Texel sheep. The original block was 11 hectares. The first vines were planted in 1993.
Since the start of the project, John has worked in various business roles to finance the development of the business and Kathryn has managed the business.
The first wines were made in 1996 at the Waimaramara Estate Winery which was then owned by John's father Dr John Loughlin. The initial plantings were in white varietals that did not compete with Waimaramara Estate which focussed on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominant reds. The cellar door was opened in February 1997 selling both the Askerne white wines and the Waimaramara Estate red wines.
From 1997 the wines were made by Sorrelle Griffiths and the wine achieved significant successes with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and a Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend from that vintage. The first dessert wines were made from the 1998 vintage.
Following the sale of the Waimaramara Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc vines were planted in 1998. The winemaking activities were moved to an extension of the cellar door building in 1999.
In 2000 a further nine adjoining hectares was acquired. The first red wines were made from the 2001 vintage.
Craig Thomas joined the team as winemaker for the 2002 to 2009 vintages.
The current winery building and canopy were completed late and only hours before being required for the 2004 vintage.
Christine Harris joined the team as Cellar Door/ Sales Manager in September 2009.
Evert Nijzink was the winemaker for the 2010 to 2012 vintages.
John is a wine lover and with wife Kathryn is the co-founder of Askerne Winery. Over the years John has worked in various industries to fund the development of the winery. John is the former Chief Executive of Richmond Ltd and is currently a professional Company Director serving on the Boards of a number of public and private companies. John's father, the late Dr. John Loughlin, established two wineries in Hawke’s Bay which are known as Chateau Waimarama and Zepelin.
Kathryn Loughlin - Owner/General Manager
Kathryn also is a wine lover and with John is the cofounder of Askerne Winery. Kathryn is responsible for the overall management of the business. Prior to moving to Hawke’s Bay to develop the winery and vineyard, Kathryn was a Valuer and Property Manager.
Kathryn's particular passion is with dessert wines which led to the inclusion of dessert wines in the range from 1998.
Practices & Techniques
We aspire to produce wines which complement food, but are vibrant and exciting when standing alone.
Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) is a management system with an environmental philosophy for the economic production of high quality winegrapes by using natural resources and regulating mechanisms to replace unsustainable inputs and thus to secure sustainable winegrowing. It is a programme based on continuous improvement.
Askerne Estate Winery became SWNZ accredited from the 2004/2005 season.
SWNZ is an holistic approach to grape growing. It goes well beyond Integrated Pest Management which ensures that pesticide use does not prevent natural enemies from providing at least some measure of pest control. SWNZ encompasses many features dear to the "organic" movement (for example, by recognising the importance of soil health and incorporating strategies to maintain it) but stops short of prohibiting main-made inputs such as pesticides. It recognises that sustainability has several components, of which one is a financially viable return.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
The site also has unique climatic attributes. It is forward of both the Haumoana hills and Havelock North hills and is close to the coast, benefiting from the moderating effect of the sea. It is a plains site receiving cooling winds from all directions including draughts from the adjoining Tuki Tuki river which laid down the various soils. These cooling effects are key contributors to the elegance and aromatics of our white wines.
The soils and climate provide a base, which is built on by a variety of clones and rootstocks within each variety to add further complexity. Our viticultural management reflects a meticulous approach to our philosophy that fine wine is made in the vineyard.