Our Story

Terra Sancta means sacred earth or special place. We are crafting wine in one of the most privileged parts of the world, Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand.  Terra Sancta is an 100 per cent Bannockburn producer with our four vineyards, our winery and our team all located in this unique, beautiful part of the world.  Mark and Sarah, the co-founders, together with our winemaking and viticulture team lead by Jody Pagey and Len Ibbotson have a focus on not just making thrilling and memorable wines, but on providing people with great experiences. Wine is a part of life, not separate from it. 

Our vineyard home

The banks of the Kawerau River, below Shingle Beach.

Slapjack vineyard, in all of its lush glory.

The famed Bannockburn subregion of Central Otago has long been viewed as very special earth. First by the miners who sluiced the hills in their search for gold, and now by wine makers and wine drinkers, who believe that the earth of Bannockburn produces some of the best Pinot Noir in the world. Tucked safely on a thin tendril of land between the old gold mining hills and ruins behind, and the edges of the brilliant glacial blue of the Kawarau River in front, our wine comes from a spectacular place. The Estate comprises two main areas, the part that borders the river, called Terra, and the part that runs along Felton Road, named Sancta.  Terra Sancta's other two vineyards are based on the Cairnmuir Road side of Bannockburn and are called The Diggings, and The Irresistible Race. 

Our terrior

Wine uniquely translates the earth into a tangible aroma and flavour experience. The schist gravels and the wild thyme with its throw of perfume, create a unique experience of this particular place. Located on Felton Road, the Terra Sancta Estate contains the first vines planted in Bannockburn, and indeed in the entire Wanaka-Cromwell-Bendigo region. Our vineyard has over 6,000 trees and is alive with bees and butterflies, while the earth is covered with the wild thyme that grows so uniquely in the area.

Our wines

Making Pinot Noir is difficult, but rewarding - and often likened to the pursuit of the holy grail for winemakers. The vision of the estate is to produce beautiful wines for generations. We have three categories of wines: Single Block wines, made only of Pinot Noir, and a truly distinctive expression of the particular blocks from which they emanate; an Estate range of wines made from the Terra Sancta estate; and the delicious, earlier drinking, superb quality Mysterious Diggings range. Our wines are handcrafted, and consistently recognised as distinctive. Our Pinot Noirs, in particular, have won multiple awards, and consistently rate amongst the best New Zealand wines. We are aiming to have the best quality wine in each price category.

Our focus and direction

The focus of the next decades is simple; to build an enduring company that produces beautiful wines, over which people enjoy great experiences. We feel privileged to share our wines and vineyards with anyone with a love for or interest in wine, whether a Master of Wine, or someone who is curious and has never been to a vineyard before.