The taste of the land
World-class surf beaches and New Zealand’s longest wharf (pack your rod and head for Tolaga Bay) are not the only assets Gisborne is worth visiting for.Beyond the puriri-clad hills and toetoe-fringed dells lie sunlit plains and valleys that grow beautiful chardonnay, pinot gris, gewürztraminer, viognier and merlot grapes.All with the help of conditions designed for viticulture — high sunshine hours, low rainfall, distincitive micro-climates and a range of soil types that impart their own particular characters into the grapes: dense clay loams, fine sandy loams and free-draining silt loams.
A playground for primal geological forces, Hawke’s Bay has been shaped by tectonic, volcanic and alluvial activity. Over recent millennia its four major rivers have formed valleys and terraces that feature no fewer than 25 different soil types.
Of interest to Huntaway Reserve is the Ngatarawa Triangle; blocks sited on its fine, sandy loam atop a deep bed of red gravels yield fine cabernet sauvignon fruit.
If the Marlborough wilderness was good enough for Sir Edmund Hillary (the Awatere Valley’s Mt. Tapuae-o-Uenuku was the first mountain he “knocked off”), it’s good enough for anyone with a taste for adventure.
Its fame as a wine-producing region may even overshadow the fame of New Zealand’s legendary roving spirit. Marlborough’s signature wine is sauvignon blanc, and fruit from vineyard blocks in the lower Wairau Valley imbues the wine with particular pungency and power.
When it comes to rugged beauty little can compete with snowcapped, crystal-laked, river-gorged Central Otago. The region has long attracted adventurous souls: listen carefully and you may hear echoes from its goldrushing past.
Climatic extremes have carved out a unique environment for wine, perhaps none more so than Bendigo in the Cromwell Basin. Pinot noir in particular responds to the treatment its continental climate metes out.