The Askerne Estate winery and vineyard site was acquired in 1993 by John and Kathryn Loughlin. John and Kathryn were wine lovers who moved from Wellington to Hawke’s Bay after careers in the Finance and Property sectors respectively.
They chose the Askerne site for its mix of soils and particularly the very free-draining former river bed. The site had previously been used to grow asparagus and later as a stud farm for Texel sheep. The original block was 11 hectares. The first vines were planted in 1993.
Since the start of the project, John has worked in various business roles to finance the development of the business and Kathryn has managed the business.
The first wines were made in 1996 at the Waimaramara Estate Winery which was then owned by John’s father Dr John Loughlin. The initial plantings were in white varietals that did not compete with Waimaramara Estate which focussed on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominant reds. The cellar door was opened in February 1997 selling both the Askerne white wines and the Waimaramara Estate red wines.