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I have written in the past about my love for Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs. This one departs from the instantly recognizable floral style of the region. It’s restrained, elegant, and pleasingly dry, not unlike a certain Friend of mine who shares the name.


Note the design on the label, an image of a Maori kite.

Manu is produced by Steve Bird Wines. According to the website, the Manu SB is a brilliant and vibrant wine, pale straw in colour with slight green hues at its edge. This is succulent and tasty with lime, stonefruit and herbaceous flavours. The palate is powerfully flavoured and fruity showing refreshing acidity and excellent mid palate weight. The flavours flow to a dry finish with great length.

Mr. Bird himself is a man of Maori heritage, and the word “Manu” refers to the   distinctive Maori art of kite flying:

Ancient Māori were expert kite makers and flight controllers. Their kites were usually “tail-less”, were gaily decorated, of varied sizes, shapes, names and purposes – from those used for light-hearted entertainment to kites used for highly significant spiritual rituals. Children and adults made kites – to practice whanaungatanga (social relationships), to reinforce tikanga/kawa (tribal lore); to commune with spiritual deities, to produce artwork, to perfection aerial movements, to test skills in competitions (as in Manu Namu and Manu Kopua) and for fun, to add their “touch” of vibrancy to the sky.


A Maori kite similar to the one on the Manu bottle.

What a beautiful culture. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Maori people were much concerned with the arts of pleasure which included music, dances, games, storytelling, surfing, and the glories of kite-flying. Among the modern day arts of pleasure, the making and enjoyment of wine surely deserve a place.


Steve Bird. Click for source.