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Te Kauwhata

Te Kauwhata is a small town in the north of the Waikato region of New Zealand, situated close to the western shore of Lake Waikare, some 40 km north of Hamilton. The township population in 2006 was 1294 with perhaps up to 13,000 in surrounding areas. The Maori name, "Te Kauwhata" means: te: the; kau: empty; whata: storehouse - 'The Empty Storehouse.Te Kauwhata is the site of a diverse range of farms, including dairy and dry stock, as well as extensive horticulture. Of note is that Te Kauwhata, or "TK" as the locals say, is bordered by the largest swamp in the southern hemisphere, otherwise known as the Whangamarino Swamp.Te Kauwhata has a primary school, a college (Te Kauwhata College; which runs from years 7 through to year 13) and three early childhood learning centres.ViticultureTe Kauwhata lies at the centre of one of New Zealand's smaller wine-producing regions, which stretches from Pukekohe, just south of Auckland, across to Thames and Paeroa at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula. The region is particularly notable for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc wines.A government research station was set up in 1886 to explore different crop options. Romeo Bragato took over the running of this station in 1901, with the first wine produced there in 1903. The research station was in private hands, as part of Rongopai wines, and has been subsequently bought out by Babich Wines, but the original buildings are still in use as a cellar door. In February 2016, Invivo Wines, producer of Graham Norton's Own Sauvignon Blanc, announced their securing of a 10-year lease of this winery.
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