We are moving and rebuilding this website at the moment, sorry about the mess!

Nelson Wine

Nelson is the country’s eighth largest wine region and is an area of very stylish wines. Viticulture occupies scattered pockets with a range of horticultural activities on the alluvial loam soils of the Waimea Plains and in the folds and valleys of the beautiful hills throughout the district. Soil structure here changes to clay loams over hard clay subsoil. The region is unusually sited on the western side of the country near the northern tip of the South Island. Mountains to the west of the region provide a rain shadow effect while coastline helps to moderate temperature extremes. Nelson winemakers specialise and excel in grape varieties that respond to cooler growing conditions. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir account for over 80% of the region’s vineyard area.

The main horticultural activities take place in a geologically formed lowlands between the Arthur Range – which hosts some of NZ’s oldest rocks – to the west and the geologically intriguing Richmond Range on the Alpine Fault Line to the east. The Richmond Range separates Nelson from its slightly southerly neighbour, the country’s premier grape growing region, Marlborough.

There are two distinct viticultural subregions within Nelson – the flat, free draining, alluvial Waimea Plains in the east on the edge of the Richmond Range and the low rolling Moutere Hills further west..

Viticulture is also emerging in the Golden Bay area, over the Takaka Hill at the top of the Arthur Range.

Although there was some dabbling with vines from 1918 onwards and Frank Berrysmith, the government viticulturist, recorded 5 acres of outdoor vines in his 1960 survey, Hermann Seifried is the modern founder of Nelson viticulture, establishing his first vineyard in Upper Moutere in 1974.

Looking back at Michael Cooper’s groundbreaking work, the first edition of “The Wines and Vineyards of New Zealand” (1984), the statistics that he cites from 1982 indicate there was only 39 hectares planted in vines, just 0.6% of the national vineyard total, with only a single handful of licensed producers.

But did Cooper make a mistake when he said “Nelson is unlikely to emerge as a major district for wine”? For in 2001 Nelson is the country’s 4th largest producing region after Marlborough, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay.
Nelson viticulture is also characterised by style and flair. The wine industry is relatively new here as the traditional horticulture was based on fruit, tobacco and hops. Today the mix is changing and your wine trail will pass olive groves, hop farms, apple orchards and small family-owned vineyards focusing on high quality wines.

The region has around 30 vineyards in scattered pockets over the Waimea Plains and also in the clay gravels and loams of the rolling hills and lush valleys of Upper Moutere. Driving south from Nelson on S.H.6 you can easily access a group of wineries in the Richmond and Brightwater areas. Continuing on to S.H.60 takes you on a convenient loop of the hilly estates via Gardner Valley Road and the Moutere Highway.

Nelson’s 2,500 annual sunshine hours coupled with the rain shadow effect created by the Arthur Range to the west, and the moderating effect of the maritime climate, provides near perfect growing conditions.

The free-draining stony soils on the Waimea plains are very similar to those in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, so the structure and aromatics of the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling wines are comparable. Nelson winemakers have gained a fine reputation for these varieties, and are now expanding plantings of others such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Shiraz.

The family owned businesses welcome visitors and offer comfortable cafés, wine tastings, cellar door sales, and delicious lunches. Take all day to wander, and sample the classic, handcrafted wines of the Waimea and Moutere Valleys.


Denton Winery
The Denton winery is set amongst sixteen acres of vineyards and gardens in the hills of Nelson.
The soils in the vineyards are free draining and naturally low yielding. The vineyards are planted with a high density of vines and cropping is kept very low.  These conditions naturally produce the very best quality fruit. So the winery is small, only pressing 20 to 30 tonnes per year.
The vines are tended by hand – leaf plucking, fruit thinning, harvest and pruning.  All wines are made and bottled on site by winemaker, Richard Denton.

Denton Winery
Richard Denton
Awa Awa Road, RD 1 Upper Moutere, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone/Facsimile: +64 3 540 3555
e-mail: email@dentonwinery.co.nz

Glovers Vineyard
Since the first 1989 vintage, the bold, beefy, tannic estate- grown Pinot Noirs have attracted the most attention.
The six-hectare estate vineyard lies in pretty, undulating countryside on a gentle, north facing slope. In low fertility clay threaded with decomposing rock, the Glovers have planted Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. At five tonnes per hectare, this is a low-cropping vineyard.
Visitors to the winery can sample the flavour packed wines and while swirling, enjoy dramatic Wagnerian opera. It is one of the great experiences of the New Zealand wine trail.

Glovers Vineyard
Dave & Penny Glover
Gardener Valley Road
Upper Moutere, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone/Facsimile: +64 3 543 2698
e-mail: info@glovers-vineyard.co.nz

Kahurangi Wine Estate
An established vineyard originally planted by Agnes and Hermann Seifried in the early 1970’s.
Twenty-six acres are planted in five grape varieties being Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Gew�rztraminer, all grafted on American rootstock from plantings.
A range of Vineyard Style meals is available with a slight Tuscan Influence.

Kahurangi Estate
Greg & Amanda Day
Sunrise Road
RD1, Upper Moutere, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 3 543 2980
Facsimile: +64 3 543 2981
e-mail: wine@kahurangiwine.com

Moutere Hills Vineyard
Moutere Hills Vineyard is a family-run winery, pressing grapes grown on the farm, together with other top-quality Nelson grapes.
The winery is open from September through to Easter and tastings are available with delicious home-style platters – the perfect complement to a glass of cool wine on a hot summer’s day.
A large garden, play area and wonderful views make a visit to Moutere Hills both relaxing and memorable. 

Moutere Hills Vineyard
Simon & Alison Thomas
Sunrise Valley, RD 1 Upper Moutere, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone/Facsimile: +64 3 543 2288
e-mail: mouterehills@actrix.co.nz

Neudorf Wines
In 1978, Tim and Judy Finn planted their first vines, creating Neudorf Vineyards. At that time establishing a vineyard was still a “high risk” investment because the New Zealand wine industry was in its infancy.
Today Neudorf Vineyards has an international reputation for exceptional and fine Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

Neudorf Wines
Tim & Judy Finn
Neudorf Road
Upper Moutere, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone +64 3543 2643
Facsimile +64 3 543 2955
e-mail: enq@neudorf.co.nz

Seifrieds Winery
Hermann and Agnes Seifried established their first vineyard in 1973 in the Moutere Valley between Nelson and Motueka. In 1996 they opened their new vineyard, winery and restaurant complex at Appleby, just 10 minutes from Richmond and 20 minutes from Nelson City.
Seifried Estate now has 80 hectares of vineyards in the region. There are 25 permanent employees at the winery and vineyard complex and others marketing the wine around New Zealand and internationally.
At the International Wine Challenge 2000, Seifried’s was awarded Gold with two Chardonnays.

Seifrieds Winery
Hermann and Agnes Seifried
PO Box 7020, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 3 544 5599
Facsimile:   +64 3 544 5522
e-mail: wines@seifried.co.nz

Spencer Hill Estate Vineyards and Winery
Spencer Hill Estate winery was founded in 1990. Winemaker, Philip Jones, produced his first vintage in 1994 and since then has received a stunning record of trophies and gold medals, achieving international acclaim in a very short period of time.
Traditional techniques, such as oak aging together with the latest technology advances, produce wines which take their place among the best.
Two labels – “Spencer Hill” from one vineyard and “Tasman Bay” from a very select list of growers.

Spencer Hill Estate Vineyards and Winery
Philip & Sheryl Jones
PO Box 3255, Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone/Facsimile: +64 3 543 2031
e-mail: spencer.hill@clear.net.nz

Te Mania Estate
Te Mania Estate is a small, family owned vineyard run by a husband and wife team.  Only 20 acres of vines allow “hands on” viticulture practices to provide good fruit exposure and intense flavours.
A genuine concern for the environment and resultant vineyard practices are designed to have minimal impact upon surrounding environs, whilst ensuring future sustainability of crops.  Work will continue in this direction to ensure continuance of an ongoing, genuine claim that these wines are “The riches of a clean green land.”

Te Mania Wines
Jon and Cheryl Harrey
Pughs Road, RD1 Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone/Facsimile: +64 3 544 4541
e-mail: enquiries@TeManiaWines.co.nz

Waimea Estates (Nelson) Limited
Established in 1993, Waimea Estates is one of the four largest vineyard & winery operations in the Nelson region.  Wines are made from the best sites of both Waimea Estates and selected growers.
Yields are controlled, canopy management is intensive.  Primary focus is on growing top quality grapes and ensuring they reach the winery in good condition.  Patience at harvest rewards with ripe and highly concentrated fruit.  The multitude of awards and accolades bear testament to the philosophies within the winery itself.

Waimea Estates (Nelson) Limited
Trevor and Robyn Bolitho
148 Main Road Hope, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone/Facsimile: +64 3 544 6385
e-mail: WaimeaEstates@ts.co.nz

Andrew Greenhough & Jenny Wheeler
Patons Road, RDI, Hope, Nelson, New Zealand
Telephone +64 3 542 3886 Facsimile +64 3 542 3462
e-mail: greenhough.vineyard@clear.net.nz