Wine lovers revere Gisborne as the Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand due to the predominance of this variety. Indeed, Montana Reserve Gisborne Chardonnay 1998 won the White Wine of the Year Award at the London International Wine Challenge in 1999.
Gisborne does however have a board varietal mix and diversity of wine styles reflecting the different soil types and mesoclimates of the region. Gisborne has a celebrated reputation for Gewürztraminer stemming from the country’s first benchmark wines being produced by Matawhero in the 1970’s. More recently some fine Semillon and Chenin Blanc wines have been produced and the latest development is the emergence of Pinot Gris and Viognier as varieties with a promising future. Red varieties include vibrant fruity Merlots, Malbec and the re-emergence of Pinotage as a preferred variety.
German winemaker Friedrich Wohnsiedler pioneered commercial winemaking in the Gisborne area, establishing vines at Ormond just outside modern Gisborne. Wohnsiedler released his first wine in 1921, but it wasn’t until the 1970’s that viticulture swept through the Gisborne region. Wohnsiedler’s vineyard and winery in the Waihirere Valley flourished under his care and was eventually bought by Montana.
Today, Gisborne is one of New Zealand’s most important grape growing regions, the third largest in the country.
Much of the credit for the Gisborne region’s quality wine must go to Gisborne’s high, hot sunshine hours and our clay loam soils. These help produce wines with nuances of melon, peach, grapefruit and passionfruit.
Our tough clay soils are targeted for the richest Chardonnay wines, while vigorous sites are better suited to sparkling wine. Our luscious silts make delicate long-structured Chardonnays.
Gisborne wines have body and finesse, a firmstructure on which to age, and a delicate floral expression to the aroma.
|Kirkpatrick Estate Winery (KEW)
Kirkpatrick Estate Winery is nestled close to where Kirkpatrick families have farmed for 150 years, on the world-renowned Patutahi Plateau, and is Gisborne’s only terraced vineyard.
The core of the Tairawhiti Polytechnic Wine Industry Certificate course, Waimata has it’s own vineyard and also a very well designed winery.
In recent years Montana has focused heavily on developing Gisborne as a premium wine region, expanding key vineyard sites and purchasing additional, well-located vineyards.
Revington Vineyard began in 1987 when Gisborne lawyer Ross Revington and his journalist wife Mary-Jane bought a 4.49 hectare vineyard in the Ormond Valley, 20 kilometres from Gisborne.
Quality New Zealand wine from Marlborough and Gisborne
Wrights wines is owned and operated by Geoffrey Wright a devoted vegetarian with a passion for wine.
|The Millton Vinyard
In 1984 James and Annie Millton established their winery on the banks of the Te Arai River near Manutuke where the early settlers first planted grapevines in 1871.
The new direction is reflected in the contemporary label designs that express our commitment to environmentally responsible production from growing to marketing.
Bulmer Harvest Limited, formerly Harvest Wine Company, was founded in 1990 by Brian Shanks, and led the resurgence of cider making in New Zealand with increasing sales from five thousand to over two million litres in five years.
We established Amor Bendall Wines in 1998, and produced our first vintage in 1999. The winery is owned and operated by partners Noel Amor and Alison Bendall.
Longbush was formally known as Landfall Wines and White Cliffs, and is owned by the Thorpe brothers John and Bill.
One of the first of the “new” boutique wineries in New Zealand, Denis Irwin won his first overseas medals for Gewurztraminer in the late 1970’s.
Gisborne local’s Alec and Rachel Cameron are your hosts. Established in 1994 look out for the Mendoze Chardonnay and the Cabernet Merlot Dessert Wine.
Stylish, elegant, delicate and complex
Tiritiri is possibly New Zealand’s smallest boutique vineyard (0.27ha). Owned by Duncan & Judy Smith and set in a hidden valley near Gisborne, this organically grown vineyard has a totally unique “terroir”.