Sir Clifford and Lady Marie Skeggs purchased the land for Akarua in 1995 and planting commenced in 1996. By September 1998, 81,000 vines had been planted over 34.5 hectares and the first wines were bottled from the 1999 vintage. The name Akarua was chosen to honor the establishment of the estate; two Maori words together meaning “two vines”, referring to the original varietals planted, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The New Zealand Mountain Daisy indigenous to the region, was chosen by the Skeggs family as Akarua’s emblem, anchoring the estate to the drama and beauty of Central Otago.
In 2014 Akarua began purchasing prime established vineyards at the end of Felton Road in Bannockburn and in Pisa sub-regions, including the oldest certified organic vineyard in Central Otago and the dramatically beautiful 25 Steps. To the present day, Akarua has continued developing including converting further vineyards to organics and planting new blocks as recently as 2019. In 2016, Akarua partnered with local catering company Artisan to launch their restaurant Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan in Arrowtown, a move which has been instrumental in further shaping the respected reputation of the brand.