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Our Vineyards

The Waipara valley is snuggled in the lee of the Teviotdale hills, which provide protection from the cool ocean winds but open to warm Nor' Wester winds. The north facing, moderately sloping river terraces provide an ideal suntrap for grape ripening.

Abundant sunshine throughout the summer, combined with a long, dry and cool autumn helps produce unique concentrated Rieslings and Pinot Gris, our regional specialites. The Waipara Valley season is particularly long with bud burst starting at the end of September and harvest lasting until mid may. Waipara receives 600mm of rainfall a year and on average 7 hours of sunshine.

Jean Luc Dufour

The region is managed by Jean-Luc Dufour

Swiss born Jean-Luc has a family history of four generations of grape growing in Europe. Jean-Luc began studying viticulture in his home country of Switzerland. He then went on to work in vineyards in Europe and USA before immigrating to New Zealand, and moving to the Waipara Valley. He has been a viticulturist for more than 20 years, and has spent 16 of these years at the Home Block Vineyard in the Waiapra Valley.

Over the years Jean-Luc's interest in natural methods of pest and disease management for vineyards has grown. Jean-Luc has spent the last few years working on improving the vineyard's biodiversity. His initiatives include; avoiding the use of insecticide for leaf roller caterpillar, the planting of buckwheat to attract insects that are natural pest controllers, and working with Lincoln University entymologists to indentify which New Zealand native plants can be used to attract beneficial insects to the vineyard.

Home block

Sustainable accreditation – WP106
The Home Block's gravelly soils and minerality enhance the rich and spicy characters of our aromatic wines. First planted in 1994, we are one of the first and most successful producers to plant Pinot Gris Lincoln-Berry Smith clone which we believe produce higher quality Pinot Gris. We have some of the oldest vines planted of this clone in New Zealand and are now supplying others with their cuttings. Our older Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay,17 years old, are on their own roots. This vineyard is our home, located right behind the winery.

The Deans Vineyard

Sustainable accreditation – WP901
The Deans Vineyard terraces overlook the river bed with stunning views of the three Deans range, Waipara Valley’s landmark hills. First planted in 2001 and now has over 76 hectares of Reisling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and a touch of Sauvignon Blanc, with free draining soil, and gravely loams over alluvial subsoil.

The Mound Vineyard

Sustainable accreditation – WP570
The Waipara Valley's gravelly soils and long autumn ripening conditions create the perfect scene for growing outstanding Riesling. The Mound Vineyard name is a geographical reference to a mound within the vineyard. Sheep graze on this vineyard during winter and the grapes from this block were used in the 2010 Riesling Challenge winemaking competition.

Marlborough is located on the North Eastern coast of the South Island. It is protected from the prevailing westerly weather by the stunning Southern Alps and cold southerly winds by the Inland Kaikoura ranges.

This produces a climate low in rainfall at 650mm's per annum, with one of the highest sunshine hours in the country.

The maritime influence means we have a cool climate with an average of 1300 growing degree days and temperatures rarely reaching 30 degrees Celsius.. This coupled with our relatively recent alluvial clay soils formed by the Wairau and Awatere rivers makes Marlborough the perfect place to grow Sauvignon Blanc.

Nev Gane

The region is managed by Nev Gane

Born and raised on a sheep and cropping property in Marlborough, Nev is the fifth generation from a Marlborough farming family all in viticulture today. Nev was involved in planting and developing the Woolshed Vineyard and has been working for the company since April 2003. He always knew he would have a farming career and thrives on the different challenges that every growing season offers. He cannot remember two seasons ever being the same.


The Woolshed Vineyard

Sustainable Winegrowing – Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand

The Woolshed Vineyard is situated west of Blenheim in the shelter of a steep sided triangular hill called the “Delta”. This feature protects the vineyard from the frosts in spring and the different aspects of the slope produce fruit which makes for exciting blending options. Named after the woolshed building which remains on the property from the original farm station. Predominantly planted in Sauvignon Blanc, for which the region is famous and a small percentage of Pinot Noir.

Waipara Hills Central Otago Vineyard
Once a gold mining region, Bendigo is framed by ancient, dry hills and fanned by westerly winds.The soils have been formed from glaciers grinding up the Schist rocks to smaller gravels and finer particles.

These soils are rich in minerals, free draining and low in vigour so careful use of irrigations is required to maintain vine health. The climate is the most contential in New Zealand with cold winters (making great skiing in nearby Wanaka) and hot dry summers. Rainfall is low with average of 450ml's per annum and in peak summer temperatures can exceed 35 degrees Celsius, however the much cooler nights maintain acidity and vitality in the Pinot Noir we produce.


The region is managed by Tom Bullen

Growing up on a farm Tom spent his holidays helping with the sheep, cattle, crops and in the family vineyards in Central Victoria, Australia. Tom went on to study Winemaking at La Trobe University and continues to further his viticulture science knowledge by distance from Charles Sturt University, Victoria. After studying wine, he spent time in Europe travelling and enjoyed working a vintage at a small boutique winery in Burgundy sorting fruit. On his return to Australia, Tom gained some well rounded experience in vineyard pest management and irrigation control, then as a Cellar Hand, before making the call to focus on Viticulture. He started as an Assistant Viticulture Manager at Giant Steps where he was quickly promoted to Vineyard Manager.

Tom’s move to Central Otago was fuelled by his obsession with world class Pinot Noir and he believes Central Otago has the perfect growing conditions for the variety. Tom’s favourite time of year is vintage. “It is the most rewarding time of year, where you see all your hard work and efforts that were put in over the season, pay off,” Tom said.


Claim 431 Vineyard

Sustainable Winegrowing – Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand /CO147/2009

The Claim 431 (previously known as Golden Terraces) vineyard's free draining loam schist gravel makes it a natural home to grow fantastic Pinot Noir. The vineyard name refers to the gold rush in the region which occurred in the mid to late 1800’s, and the terraced vineyard. Claim 431 is planted in 100% Pinot Noir.


Waipara Hills

Waipara Hills, 780 Glasnevin Road
State Highway 1, Waipara, North Canterbury, New Zealand

p +64 3 314 6900   e Click Here