Spanning almost 200km of the South Islands eastern coast, Canterbury is one of New Zealand’s true gems. With a cool climate, the regions grapes experience long and steady ripening periods. Sunlight is a critical component of the ripening process and luckily for all, the region is typically bathed in it. Coupled with the advantageous levels of sunlight, there’s the infamous northwest wind that sweeps over the land, not only helping prevent a myriad of diseases by drying out the vine canopy, but also helps add to the total heat accumulation. While in warmer climates the natural acidity and aromatics are lost, Canterbury’s cool climates ensure bold and balanced flavours. Warm days and cool nights contribute result in rich flavour intensity. But every cloud has a silver lining, frost poses a serious threat to vintners especially in late spring or early autumn, to combat this, crop thinning is used to help accelerate the ripening process decreasing the period each fruit is at risk.
Canterbury’s main sub-region is Waipara Valley, (which translates to muddy water in Maori) situated to the north of the region is only a 40 minute journey from Christchurch city (considered the capital of the south island). Waipara has a slightly warmer climate than the rest of Canturbury, aiding in the frost issues the region experiences. Already boasting over 80 vineyards spread, covering more than 1,200 hectares of land Waipara is one of the fastest growing sub-regions, with the spot light slowly falling on Waipara, wines are getting more and more recognition and international acclaim. We can’t help but recommend the Riesling and Pinot Noir.
With three soil profiles, the regions unique terroir is comprised of “the valley floor, hill slopes and river terraces”. These profiles include gravelly deposits on the flats and terraces and limestone clays on the hillsides.