About Us

A brief history and things to come

My young years

I was born in Germany and grew up in Saarburg, a romantic small township on the banks of the river Saar in the hilly country of the Rhineland-Palatinate state.
The Saar is one of the premium Riesling producing wine regions in Germany.

 

Riesling wine from the Saar region

My uncle Johannes was a wine maker who produced Riesling wines, so from my early days I was surrounded with wine. I spent some time working there during school holidays. In autumn I helped harvesting the grapes, which was very hard work in the steep slopes of the Saar valley. All grapes were hand picked.

The wines that he produced were amazing, but in those days sulphur levels in wine were much higher than nowadays, and the grapes were heavily sprayed with pesticides. I remember quite a few occasions after I had enjoyed his wine that I had some unpleaseant aftermaths (hangover or headache) the following day.

 

The world of organic wine

At this time I was already very interested in ecological farming and environmental issues. It was only years later that I learnt that wine doesn’t need to be heavily sulphured and tastes even better when it is produced organically. As I really enjoy a glass or two of wine I was even more delighted to discover other benefits of organic wine!

When I started working in an organic store in Hamburg I had access to organic wine. I enjoyed sampling the range of organic wines, and was surprised that none of them had any adverse affects on me. That was partly due to low sulphur levels, and partly due to the grapes being produced without the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. I learnt that a healthy soil plays such an important role in producing better and tastier grapes.

 

A taste of New Zealand

I immigrated to NZ about 17 years ago. Living out West in Piha/ West Auckland for the last 14 years I love the relaxed lifestyle here. With my partner Kairava, who is a passionate potter, we feel very lucky to enjoy this amazing environment, being next to the ocean, and surrounded by the Waitakere Ranges.

 

The Organic Wine Company

One of the first things that I noticed after my arrival in NZ was the very limited selection and the high price tag of organic wines available. It took another 14 years until I decided to start my own business, the Organic Wine Company. My aim is to offer a wide variety of certified European organic wines to complement the existing range of NZ organic wines. I started with a humble collection of 10 organic wines. Today I offer more than 40 organic wines from Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Germany .

My next intention is to offer more organic wines from NZ and Australia – locally produced from small boutique vineyards.

I enjoy discovering the world of wines - so many varieties of tastes and flavours! - and like to share my passion for organic wines with you. I hope you will enjoy the journey of discovery with me.

Premo Maas
September 2015