The family for this family run vineyard are Ian Percy, Fiona Aitken and their children Johnny and Isobel. Ian is the dreamer who dreamed up the idea of a vineyard and the wonderful lifestyle it would provide for raising a family. It is a dream of twenty years and many miles. Ian and Fiona moved to New Zealand from the UK in 2008, already with their two young children in tow. Both are trained geologists with many years of experience and when they started the vineyard had not a jot of viticulture experience between them which is why they enlisted the help of James Dicey, who still keeps them on track with good advice and guidance.
They set out to learn the ropes on their own vineyard, living their dream. Fiona is proud of her new found abilities to drive tractors, repair irrigation systems, prune, shoot thin, bunch thin and grow great quality grapes. Sometimes she even lets the rest of the family help!!
Dan and Sarah-Kate Dineen turn these wonderful nuggets of intensely flavoured fruit into delicious wines at their Maude Winery, just around the corner from the vineyard in Wanaka, the grapes proudly delivered each year by tractor and trailer.
vineyard facts at a glance
Aitken's Folly (3.0 hectares)
Location: Wanaka, Central Otago, NZ
Grape: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Soil: Fluvial and glacial outwash channels, ranging from sandy soils to cobble sized conglomerates
Exposure: Gently undulating
Pinot Noir: Mix of Abel, 667 and clone 5, cropping at around 5 tonnes/Ha
Chardonnay: 100% clone 548, one of the great Corton Charlemagne clones and the only wine in NZ to be made purely from it
Age: Planted 2009
History: Named after an ex colleague of Fiona suggested that what we were about to do amounted to a foolish move, a Folly by any other name
Style: There is an acceptance that each vintage will be different due to seasonal climate variations and developing vines - these natural variations overprint a fruit driven palette of flavours, producing wines which honour both the unique terroir and vine origins
What The Map Means: The map reflects both where we are now and where we come from. The snapshot is after the first ever geological map of Otago, drawn by a Scottish geologist, James Hector in 1864 and contains both where we live now (Pembroke, or Wanaka) and where we originally came from, Newcastle. In our minds it neatly ties up our past and present, England, Scotland and New Zealand, with a little geology thrown in for good measure