ZARIA is a boutique producer in the Bridge Pa Triangle subregion in Hawkes Bay. As with all great boutique producers, ZARIA has an inspiring story. To honour the dreams of winemaker Bryce Edmonds late mother Lesley, Bryce’s father purchased a block of land and along with his two brothers, planted Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and Sémillon. This is when Lesley’s Vineyard, the enduring heart and soul of ZARIA, was born.


Keep reading to discover the romantic story of how ZARIA came to be.


“It began in 2004, when Kiwi winemaker Bryce Edmonds met a Czech beauty named Alena. The pair embarked on a cross-the-globe relationship that took them to many of the world’s great wine regions — New Zealand, Austria, Spain, and France among them — and after seven years, Bryce set out to craft a gift worthy of the woman of his dreams.

A Rosé named after the Slavic goddess of beauty in a nod to Alena’s heritage, the original ZARIA personified purity, femininity, and the deep connection between Bryce and Alena.

The gift struck a chord. A few weeks later, when Bryce proposed at Napier’s acclaimed Pacifica Restaurant (which now pours ZARIA wines), Alena said yes. They married at the spectacular Valtice Castle in the Czech Republic, honeymooned amongst the wineries of Portugal, and now live on Bryce’s family vineyard in Hawke’s Bay, where they raise their daughters Jasmin and Natalie.

After the success of his first vintage, Bryce decided to share his brand with the wider world — and under his stewardship, ZARIA wines have become synonymous with grace, elegance, and focus. Using fruit lovingly grown on Lesley’s Vineyard (named after his mother), Bryce practices minimal intervention to coax nuance and balance out of the land, ultimately bringing to life creations worthy of the goddess they honor and the woman they’re an ode to.”


made with love, inspired by natural beauty


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Reviews, Awards & Medals
Raymond Chan 4 Stars
ZARIA Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2014


Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with some garnet, lighter edged. The bouquet is full and densely packed with ripe, savoury, dark-red plum and berryfruit aromas along with a layering of nutty oak and earthy elements. This is beginning to develop secondary interest. Full-bodied, the palate has rich and well-concentrated and deep flavours of savoury dark-red plums, intermingling with dark herb, earth and nutty notes. The palate is well-structured with plenty of fine-grained tannins, and balanced with integrated acidity. The wine leads to a solid and fulsome finish of dark plum and earthy flavours. This is a fulsome, rich and well-structured Merlot with savoury dark plum, earthy and nutty flavours, and beginning to show secondary interest. Serve with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 6-8 years. Fruit from ‘Lesley’s Vineyard’, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.6% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins post ferment and aged 18 months in seasoned French oak barrels.

Raymond Chan
ZARIA Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2015


Dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. This has an elegant nose with fresh, fragrant aromas of red plum and berry fruit, along with a subtle herbal lift and nutty oak notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has juicy fruit flavours of red berryfruit and plums, along with red floral and fresh herb notes, and nuances of nutty oak, forming an elegant core. The mouthfeel is fresh and bright, the fruit supported by moderately extracted, fine tannins and lacy acidity. The wine flows with good energy, carrying to an elegant, light-fruited finish. This is a fresh and bright-fruited Merlot with red berry and plum flavours with balanced extract and lacy acidity. Match with beef and lamb, and Mediterranean fare over the next 4+ years. Fruit from ‘Lesley’s Vineyard’, indigenous yeast fermented to 13.9% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins post ferment and aged 15 months in seasoned French oak barrels.

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