Anto Coates – Rift Wines Matakana

Having entered the wine trade from a career in advertising copywriting, Anto Coates now spends his days managing the Rift vineyard next to Hyperion at the end of Tongue Farm Road. While the vineyard is now planted to Syrah and Clone 548 Chardonnay, a few gnarly trunks remind visitors this is the original site of Matakana’s oldest vines, planted in 1979 by the Vuletic brothers as part of their Antipodean project. Anto, his wife Helena, son Loki, and parents Bill & Deb Coates have proudly established Rift Wines on this historic slope. Their hillside vineyard takes its name from the colourful and somewhat fractious history of the property, as well as the gaping cracks that open up in the clay soil during summer.

The Rift Vineyard was formerly owned by Skip Whitmore and his son Sam. For several years they crafted the Mount Tamahunga label off the property, before launching the now very successful Zeffer cider brand. The Coates family purchased the property in 2015 and alongside the vineyard have future plans for a cellar door on site.

While Anto knows wine very well, he readily admits the nuances of the vineyard have been a wholly new experience. As such he has been soaking up advice from local Matakana wine experts. Anto’s neighbour John Crone from Hyperion Wines is often around for a chat over the fence.

After a very small crop in 2019, Anto is very much looking forward to 2020 and beyond. Wine lovers keen to experience Rift Wines Matakana for themselves should keep an eye on, starting with the 2020 vintage.

Anto’s top three things to do in Matakana?

Exploring Tawharanui Regional Park, getting into the Leigh Harbour for a spot of fishing and enjoying a relaxing wine or craft beer at the end of the day in The Matakana Pub.

Interested in joining us at Matakana Winegrowers? Get in touch.