Visit The Urban Winery for Chardonnay Like No Other

Meet Hawke's Bay's Tony Bish, the man at the leading edge of the modern Chardonnay movement

Tony Bish, co-owner of The Urban Winery, pictured in front of the stunning egg-shaped French oak barrel. Picture / Babiche Martens

In the iconic Art Deco national treasure known as the Rothmans Factory (the much-photographed former National Tobacco Company building), in Napier’s Ahuriri district, is The Urban Winery, owned by Tony Bish and his wife, Karryn.

This is a solo project, and markedly different to Tony's role as chief winemaker for Sacred Hill Wines.

The winery is geared towards Tony’s unquenchable love of chardonnay and built around his unique "concrete egg" fermenters, a collection of oak barrels and the most unique and stunning barrel in the world — a Taransaud "Ovum".

The enormous, egg-shaped barrel made from pure French oak is the only one of its kind in the country and one of only a few anywhere in the world.

The National Tobacco Company building in Napier. Picture / Babiche Martens

Tony believes the convection currents within these ovoid-shaped vessels create a rich, creamy texture and unique taste in chardonnay. Enjoy wine tasting, tapas-style food and a chardonnay education like no other.

• The Urban Winery, 1 Ossian St, Ahuriri, Napier. Visit

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New Zealand Herald

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