About Us

In early 2004, Paul and Cathy Syms aspired to make a world class red wine, engaging Jim Vuletic, a renowned winemaker, to oversee the establishment of a “world’s best” three-acre vineyard. The vineyard, located in Stillwater, Auckland, features Malbec vines, which was sailed over from Bordeaux in 1863, before phylloxera ravaged all remaining vines, leaving it as the last of its kind. 


Stillwater is well-known for its gentle rolling hills and beautiful tidal estuary. The vineyard was established in this location because it is sheltered from the prevailing winds, and enjoys wonderful sunshine from early morning to late afternoon, on a gently sloping north facing site on the banks of the Weiti River. The clay soils are very similar to parts of Bordeaux that were the inspiration for Messenger.

We also source grapes for the blends (Cabernet Franc and Merlot) from other prized vineyards in the acclaimed Hawke’s Bay growing region, to produce only the highest quality wines. 


The first vintage of Messenger was produced in 2008, winning gold and a respectable 93 points and 5 stars from Bob Campbell. From 2009 to 2014, the brand achieved international recognition, with wine critics describing it as “truly exceptional” and fanatical brand loyalists appreciating a wine of distinction and sheer class.


In 2020, our 2019 Messenger Petite was released, a Bordeaux-style blend, it was the first release since 2014. This vintage, as with all our future Messenger vintages, was crafted by one of NZ’s most acclaimed and talented winemakers, John Hancock. This recreation of the stunning Bordeaux-style blend has been well received, with Bob Campbell awarding 93 points and 4.5 stars and Ms. Miyuki Morimoto, renowned and award winning Japanese Sommelier, praising it's silky and velvety texture.