Hawke’s Bay is NZ’s oldest wine region and second largest. There are over 90 wineries and 150 grape growers within the region, which produces a huge chunk of the national vintage. Hawkes Bay is blessed with breathtakingly beautiful rivers, which for centuries have carved their way across the landscape and left in their wake the perfect mix of soils for growing grapes. Many of the regions wineries are inextricably linked to guiding forces of these rivers, from the Esk River in the north, to the trout-filled and titillating-named Tutaekuri (look it up on Google translate) and the mighty Ngaruroro which both cut through the regions central plains. Then of course there’s the stunning Tukituki river which flows from it’s upper reaches in Central Hawke’s Bay and along the base of the majestic Te Mata Peak range before meeting the ocean at Haumoana. There’s even the fast-flowing Paritua stream, which nourishes the vines along the western boundary of the Bridge Pa Triangle. Wine producers can now choose from a smorgasbord of soil types including the limestone loop of Central Hawke’s Bay to the ancient red metal soils and river terrace boulders of Maraekakaho and the sandy, free-draining loams of the coast and valleys.
Much of Hawke’s Bay’s Pinot Noir is grown for sparkling wine, but trophy winning, traditional examples have been crafted from inland cooler sites such as Crownthorpe, Matapiro, Tikokino and as far south as Porongahau. Expect soft, cherry and tea flavours, a mineral element and ultra-approachable textures.
Lime Rock Wines
Established in 2001 at 270m above sea level on limestone slopes in Central Hawkes Bay, Lime Rock is producing some stunning Pinot Noir vintages on this unique site. The vineyard is managed to protect ecological processes (vit-ecology) and follows a philosophy of minimal disturbance to the soil, so no cultivation (ploughing). The wines have been described as having a burgundy character, with good structure and texture and great length on the palate.