Friedrich Wohnsiedler (right) started planting grapes at Waihīrere, near Ormond on the Poverty Bay flats, around 1920. Anti-German sentiment in Gisborne had forced him out of his butchery business in the town during the First World War. By the 1930s he was producing fortified wines such as madeira, port and sherry, in conjunction with his son George. The winery expanded after Friedrich died in 1958, but it passed out of family control in 1973.
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