Our vineyard is in the Waipara Valley viticultural region of New Zealand, 45 minutes drive north of Christchurch. We are located towards the western edge of the Valley, on two terraces above the Waipara River with magic views to the Three Deans mountain range just beyond. The total planted area is 8 hectares – 25000 vines comprising 2ha of Syrah, 2ha Pinot Gris and 4ha Riesling. A further block of Pinot Noir is located on the clay limestone hills at Blacks Avenue.
All vines are pre-dominantly on a mix of 101-14 and 3309 rootstock. The Syrah is all the NZ original mass selected clone, the Riesling is split between 110, 239, 198 and the Pinot Gris is a mix of 2/16, 2/15, Barrie and Ovaille. The Pinot Noir is 667, 777. 115, and 5. All vines are 1.5m spaced in 2.0 rows except for approx 10% of each block which is spaced at 1.0m x 2.0m for added interest and possible trial lots.
The soil type at Georges Road is known as Canterbury Gravels, essentially poor, free-draining river gravels. Ideal for mineral driven, aromatic wines. All vines are pruned to 2 cane VSP. The fruit wire height is slightly lower than normal at 700mm. All vine mid rows are grassed and the undervine area is kept bare. All vines, including the Riesling, are aimed to be cropped at 2.0 kg each or less.
Vines undergo shoot thinning in November prior to fruit-set and are crop thinned just after flowering and again in a green harvest to optimise the crop. All fruit is hand harvested. Disease pressure is low due to strong northwest winds predominating and frost is also a minor issue at this end of the valley where its slightly more elevated and closer to the Waipara Gorge.
Waipara is located at Lattitude 43South. Growing Degree Days seasonally fall between 1050-1150. This is an ideal cool climate viticultural region. Low rainfall, warm summers and long dry autumns, cool nights and low disesase pressure. Its NZ’s fastest growing wine region and is gaining a reputation for the production of premium aromatic wines to rival anything the world has to offer.