Nga Waka was established by the Parkinson family in 1988 and remains family operated to this day. The Parkinsons adhere to the French concept of 'terroir'; the idea that wine expresses its particular site, it reflects a sense of place. The name Nga Waka was chosen to reflect the familes sense of place. The name is taken from Nga Waka A Kupe (The Canoes of Kupe), the three hills, which lie like upturned canoes, forming a backdrop for the town of Martinborough. Producing food-friendly wines that are built to last, emphasizing structure, texture and balance. Nga Waka wines are bone dry and derive richness and concentration from low crops and optimal sunlight interception by the leaves and grapes. The vineyards are all accredited to Sustainable Winegrowing NZ, reflecting the importance Nga Waka attach to sustainable management practices and preserving the land for future generations.
Winemaker and CEO Roger Parkinson is a Roseworthy College graduate and prizewinner with experience in winemaking and viticulture in New Zealand, Australia and France. Following four years of overseas study and work experience Roger returned to New Zealand in 1992.
The first Nga Waka vintage was in 1993. He is responsible for all aspects of production. His wife Carol is qualified in business studies and is responsible for financial management. Rogers parents, Margaret and Gordon, now retired, maintain an active interest in the business.