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Before ground was broken for the winery build, a site-blessing ceremony was held by Kaumatua Kevin Thompson. The importance of this ceremony to all parties that work onsite at the Marlborough Research Centre was apparent by the large number of people who attended. 

 Photos from left to right – Kaumatua Kevin Thompson & Richard Hunter (PFR); MJ Loza (BRI CEO) & Tracy Benge (BRI Establishment Manager) place a mauri stone from the Wairau River; a hole dug waiting for the placement of stones & blessing. 

Mauri stones from the Wairau and Awatere rivers were blessed and placed around the perimeter of the winery along with water from each river. 

These sacred materials are found at the head waters of the Awatere and Wairau rivers. Over the ages their life-forms have broken down to form the regions soils and water. These elements represent the life blood of Marlborough’s world-renowned wine industry, a fitting tribute for the site blessing.