The terroir of our vineyard
169 Mackenzies Rd, Waipara: Latitude 43° South
The vineyard is located on the North Western side of the Waipara River Valley on post-glacial river terraces formed by the Weka River, a tributary of the Waipara River. Soils are free draining medium to light, gravely, silty, loams interspersed with limestone. The relatively low fertility, but good natural pH, reduces vine vigour, producing low yields of grapes of high quality and flavour.
Waipara is designated as a cool climate wine growing area (15°C in the month before harvest) so grapes ripen just before winter. However, it has a typical Mediterranean style climate, with hot, dry summers with many days over 30C and cool nights. Winter frosts are followed by clear blue skies and although snow seldom falls in the valley, it may linger on nearby mountains making the winter spectacularly beautiful.
The Waipara Valley is protected from cool easterly sea breezes by Mt Cass and the Teviotdale Hills. Our pine and macrocarpa shelter belts provide protection from Canterbury’s strong, hot, dry Nor’westers. Mackenzies Road rises gently towards the west so that our vineyard, about 100m above sea level, seldom suffers late spring frosts.
The warm days and cool nights before harvest in late April–May, provide excellent conditions that produce the balance between sugar, acid & pH levels achieving the high quality fruit flavours and natural acidity essential for producing premium quality wines.
The distinctive terroir with summer heat and low rainfall ensures that our grapes fully ripen and we produce superb, classic Riesling, spicy Gewürztraminer, elegant Pinot Noir.