French Catholic missionaries of the Society of Mary (Marists) planted the first vineyard in Hawke’s Bay in 1851 so they could make sacramental wine. They soon started selling table wine to the public, and in doing so founded one of the region’s key industries. The Society of Mary still makes wine at its Mission Estate complex in Greenmeadows, just outside Napier. This young onlooker is watching the 1895 harvest.
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