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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 specialties. 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 seven hours of sunshine.
 

Vineyard Manager - 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 at the Home Block vineyard in the Waiapra Valley. Over the years Jean-Luc's interest in natural methods of pest and disease management 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.


Waipara Valley Vineyards

 

Home Block

The Home Block's gravelly soils and minerality enhance the rich and spicy characters of our aromatic wines. We are one of the first and most successful producers to plant the Pinot Gris Lincoln-Berry Smith clone which we believe produces higher quality Pinot Gris. We have some of the oldest vines planted of this clone in New Zealand. This vineyard is our home, located right behind the winery.

First planted in 1994. Varietals include 40% Pinot Gris, 27% Chardonnay, 21% Sauvignon Blanc,  12% Pinot Noir. 49 hectares. Sustainable accreditation WP1006.
 

The Mound


 

The Mound vineyard is located on terraces along the Waipara River and is a geographical reference to a mound within the vineyard. The most recent vines planted at The Mound were the Austrian grape varietal Grüner Veltliner in 2013. Waipara’s long autumn ripening conditions and gravelly soils add mineral characters and great complexity to our aromatic varietals.

First planted in 2002. Varietals include 72% Riesling, 17% Sauvignon Blanc, 6% Pinot Noir, 3% Grüner Veltliner, 1.5% Gewürztraminer, 0.5% Muscat. 85 hectares. Sustainable accreditation WP570.


Deans


The Deans vineyard terraces overlook the Waipara River with stunning views of the three Deans range, Waipara Valley’s landmark hills. Chosen for its free draining soil, and gravely loams over alluvial subsoil. 

First planted in 2001. Varietals include 50% Riesling, 30% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Gris, 5% Sauvignon Blanc. 76 hectares. Sustainable accreditation WP901.


 

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 765mm'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 summer temperature of around 25 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.
 

Vineyard Manager - 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.

 
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 here.
 

Vineyard Manager - 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 recent move to Central Otago is 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.

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Waipara Hills

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

p +64 3 314 6900   e Click Here