Waipara Valley has three distinct types of terroir: the valley floor, hillOmihi Hills are part of the Torlesse limestone deposits & show an affinity with the chalky soils of the Côte-d'Or. Even the greywacke alluvial soils on the valley floor have a higher calcium carbonate concentration, as can be seen in the milky water which flows down the Waipara River slopes & river terraces. These encompass the following soil types: gravelly deposits on flats & terraces in the central & west of the valley, limestone clays on hillsides & valley floor to the east, & gravely loams over alluvial subsoil in the southern areas.
The Waipara Valley, a distinct sub-region of Canterbury, is tucked in the lee of the Teviotdale Hills - these hills provide protection from cool easterly winds but are open to warming nor'westers. The north-facing moderately-sloping terrain provides an ideal sun trap for fruiting vines.
Local terroir, combined with a long, hot autumn period, helps produce unique Pinot Noir & Riesling, varietals Waipara has become known for. Other varietals of note include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc.
Pinot Noir - from vineyard to winery
Pinot Noir is a delicate, thin-skinned varietal, requiring gentle handling to yield its full potential
• Veraison marks the start of the ripening process
• Acidity & sugar levels determine when harvesting begins
• Destemming, prior to crushing, helps to reduce harsh flavours
• During fermentation the cap is regularly plunged to prevent spoilage
• Once the wine is run off the skins, the remaining pulp is carefully pressed
Mike Weersing (Pyramid Valley):
I believe NZ Pinot Noir has emerged as a distinct animal, different from other Pinot styles: less densely tannic than Burgundy, brighter fruit than Oregon with more vibrancy & energy than is typical of California
See our Flower to Fruit page for earlier stages in fruit development