Muddy Water was born over a quarter century ago when viticulture pioneers Jane and Michael East recognised the potential for grape growing in the Waipara Valley. The Easts retired in 2011 after two decades of winemaking accolades and passed stewardship of Muddy Water to the Thomas family, who continue to take the winery from strength to strength.
Nestled in the lee of the Teviotdale Hills and sheltered from the cool ocean breezes, the Muddy Water estate is an ideal spot for cool climate viticulture. All of the wine is made and bottled on-site in our hand-built straw bale winery just a few hundred metres from the vines. The name Muddy Water is a literal translation of ‘Waipara’ – and, like our wines, is a direct reflection of the environment around us. As many New Zealand wines become more commercialised they aim in the other direction, making small batch wines with soul. 

Muddy Water was the first certified organic winery in Canterbury, and all the wines are certified organic with BioGro. Under the philosophy of minimal intervention, they create wines that fully express both site and vintage. 

The majority of the vines are ungrafted – now a rarity in the industry – giving the wines an authentic expression found in few other places. 

Crop management is done meticulously by hand without herbicides, insecticides or systemic fungicides, using organic methods and biodynamic soil management to proactively promote soil and vine health. It’s labour intensive, but it’s also how you make truly remarkable wine. For them, it’s a labour they love.