Having a background in marketing means I'm a bit of a trainspotter when it comes to wine brands.
With new labels being launched all the time, I like to scan the shelves of my local supermarket and wine shop for new additions. While many of these brands are an absolute dog's dinner design-wise, others leap out as pure class - Tiki for example.
The labels looked stylish and the wines I'd tasted in recent years were excellent, but I also know that these days you can't just go putting a Maori name and symbol on to your product willy nilly.
There's usually a complicated approval process involved, hoops to jump through. Curiosity kicked in, who were these Tiki people?
Royce McKean and his wife Sue returned to New Zealand nine years ago after high-flying corporate careers had them criss-crossing between London, Zurich, New York and Amsterdam with Credit Suisse.
Keen skiers, with a cabin up in the Canterbury hills and family in the area, the McKeans wanted to return to the region with their children but also wanted a business venture to sink their teeth into.
"We'd been interested in wine and vineyards for a long time," says Royce.
"So we got some advice on suitable land, which led to us buying our Waiata vineyard in Waipara in 2004 and then we bought and developed another three vineyards in Marlborough in quick succession."
Getting the vineyards planted and to the point where they were productive was a crazy, hectic time for the couple, who worked a million miles an hour to get the job done. For the first few years, those vineyards were used solely for contract growing, and with a family history of conventional farming dating back hundreds of years, the McKeans used all the usual herbicide and pesticide regimes to keep the bugs away and control the weeds.
But if there's one thing that'll make you re-evaluate the way you do things and consider what's important in life, it's facing death in an avalanche.
"I was on a guided heli-skiing tour with a bunch of friends when the avalanche hit and I was buried under a couple of metres of snow for exactly 22 minutes," says Royce. So how did he survive?
"When I realised I was pinned under the snow and couldn't move, I didn't fight it. I'd done a bit of white-water kayaking and one of the things you learn when you're underwater and your head is bouncing along the bottom of the river is to relax and not fight it. So I tried to control my breathing for as long as possible then I eventually blacked out."
Royce was wearing a 'peeper' and his fellow guides used that along with probes to find him.
"They found my boot first and started to dig. They cleared my face and I was purple, not breathing.
"They dug a ramp to drag me to the surface and because I'd been deprived of oxygen for an extended period, I ended up in hospital rather worse for wear and I was pretty much away with the fairies for quite a while."
"More so than usual," laughs Sue.
Recuperation time in hospital led the couple to thinking about what was important to them as a family and that it was time to re-evaluate their grape-growing philosophy.
"When Sue and I were younger and a bit more hippyish, I'd been quite into permaculture and the concept of Kaitiakitanga, guardianship of the land, so we made the decision to convert our vineyards to organic production," explains Royce.
The McKeans also decided to create their own premium range of wines from their top-tier fruit. They wanted the wine to reflect their family connection to the land, their heritage and also to represent something uniquely New Zealand. Royce's great-great-grandfather was Tiki tere Mihi, Chieftan of the Ngati Uenuku.
His portrait was painted by Charles Goldie in 1908 and now hangs in the Maori section of the Auckland Museum.
The McKeans wanted to use his name and the kiwi symbol on their label. "We wanted something that would elevate the perception of Maoridom and the Pacific. Pretty much everyone knows what a tiki is, it's such a strong symbol that people have an emotive attachment to and therefore we wanted to execute it respectfully on the bottle."
But when it came to getting approval to use the tiki name and symbol, people didn't think Royce would have a hope in hell. "Our lawyers basically told us to forget it. Even the trademark people at IPONZ knocked us back.
"But I'd spoken with my mum and her whanau up in Tauranga and Rotorua to run the idea past them, to see whether they thought our ancestor would've approved.
"The aunties said they thought it was pretty cool and that they were sure Cheiftan Tiki would've agreed.
"So once the aunties gave us the thumbs up internally within the family, we then put our proposal to a Maori committee and fortunately they accepted what we were going to do and how we proposed to use the name.
"I must admit, we were very nervous about the brand," Royce says.
"We didn't want to muck it up, we wanted to do a good job and we also wanted to make sure the wine inside the bottle could stand on its own two feet."