North Canterbury


An easy 40-minute drive north of Christchurch will land you on the doorstep of one of the most exciting wine regions in NZ. Farm country and pine plantations open up just a couple of kilometres north of the town of Amberley to reveal a breathtakingly beautiful valley, carpeted on both sides of the highway with vines as far as the eye can travel. The Waipara Valley is surrounded by the ancient, mineral-rich limestone clay slopes of Mt Cass to the east and the Three Deans range to the west, and its vineyards grow with gusto under the unmistakable cloud formation known as the Nor’west Arch. When you see it, you know that Canterbury’s fierce northwesterly is blowing hot and dry –which isn’t good for ones mood, but it’s great for controlling vine vigour and creating intense, succulent pinot noir. Combine this bionic breeze with long, dry autumns means Waipara winemakers enjoy minimal disease pressure leading into vintage. Waipara’s modern wine era began with experimental plantings on a 400ha farm in the 1960’s, but it was in the mid 1980’s when pinot pioneering kicked into gear and by 2017 the region can lay claim to being home to international trophy winning examples that are winning friends and influencing people.

North Canterbury

Inland from the Waipara Valley lies the Waikari Hills, an area incorporating the Weka Pass, Pyramid Valley and Scargill Valley. Hunting for new and exciting terroirs, curious producers struck out in the late 1990’s, toward land famous for its outcrops of pure, limestone-derived rendzina soils. Soils that inject a distinctive layer of minerality that marinates through the wines of this exciting sub-region. These high-density planted vineyards are at higher elevations, 250-300m above sea level, and have soils ranging from pure chalky limestone to lime-rich derived clays and subsurface marine glauconite/greensand. The clay provides flesh and generosity to Waikari’s pinot noir, while the increased levels of this special ‘active’ limestone, imparts tension, nervosity and a lovely layer of salinity.



Bell Hill Vineyard

Bell Hill, so named for its shape as viewed from the south, is an old lime quarry steeped in natural history. The two hectare vineyard uses Burgundian vineyard architecture with a high plant density of 9,090 to 11,363 vines/ha. Drawn by the pure, chalky limestone soils and calcareous clays, we seek to reflect the characteristic expression of our site and soil in the wines we make, looking for consistent quality, fruit concentration and expression of terroir.


Bellbird Spring

Bellbird Spring is a wine estate owned by the Porter family in North Canterbury. We craft small parcels of fine wine to accompany great food. Our vineyards are maintained using organic practices. We make aromatic white and red wine using traditional techniques. Our Pinot Noir comes from a range of clones, to produce complex wines made by Guy Porter. Wines are typified by the use of indigenous fermentation, extended maceration and ageing in French oak.

Black Estate

Black Estate is a remarkable place for wine – three hillside vineyards on clay and limestone soils in North Canterbury. We’re family owned and operated. Nicholas Brown oversees the grape growing and makes the wine and Pen his wife manages the business. Viticulture is intense, organic and hands on and our winemaking is gentle and guiding. We want to make wines that are true to their individual site – wines with natural balance, structure and character.

Greystone Wines

Greystone draws its name from the unique limestone conglomerate that forms the bedrock of its vineyard. This mix of seashells, fossils, pebbles and limestone were thrust out of the ocean around 100,000 years ago to form the Omihi hills of the 37 hectare vineyard, planted in 2004. Our goal is to express this terroir through wild ferments, some in the vineyard itself, with fruit returned to the rows to ferment in the open air.

Mt Beautiful

Mt. Beautiful wines are the expression of the wild, rugged and breathtakingly scenic region of North Canterbury. Certified-sustainable and estate-grown, these distinctively restrained wines let the pure terroir shine through. World-renowned scholar/entrepreneur and New Zealand native David Teece, together with his wife Leigh, spent two years searching for just this spot, where they could pioneer an undiscovered region and fulfil their dream of bringing the best of New Zealand to the world.

Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay is owned and operated by the Donaldson’s, Pioneers of the Canterbury wine industry. Ivan and Christine established the vineyard in 1985, and today Ivan oversees viticulture, Christine curates the breathtaking gardens, Eldest son Matthew is winemaker, Edward is marketing manager while his wife Belinda managers the winery restaurant, and youngest son Paul is GM. 12 different clones of Pinot Noir represent a third of the  plantings with most now 30 years of age.

Pyramid Valley Vineyards

After 15 years of extensively travelling the world, Mike and Claudia Weersing finally found their Pyramid Valley site in North Canterbury New Zealand. The home vineyard was established biodynamcially in 1999 and has been planted in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on scarp slopes, at a density of 10,000-12,000 vines per hectare. “Every gesture made in the vineyard and winery, is a summons to this spirit of place. Biodynamics, hand-based viticulture, low yields, natural winemaking – these are some of the means we’ve adopted better to record and transmit this voice”.


The Boneline

The ancient geology of giant creatures, the permeating past, limestone alluvial “soils”, 25 year old vines, riverside multi-terraced site of steep banked amphitheatres, which regularly ripens 8 varietals including cabernet reds. Mix of old Swiss and younger Dijon Pinot Noir clones, individual ferments, handworked in onsite winery. Great attention to detail in vine and wine care by all. The love shows through in these wines, Pinot Noir is deep within the heart of this place.

The Crater Rim

The Crater Rim is a family-owned winery situated in the rolling hills of Waipara. We grow, make and market limited quantities of terroir-specific wines from the region. Our wines are produced from sites carefully selected for their particular mix of topography, soil and microclimate – creating high quality, site-specific wines of individual character and drinkability. We work closely with each vineyard to ensure that vines are cropped low and managed sustainably, guaranteeing the best quality fruit possible from each site. These are exceptional wines from exceptional places.

Tongue in Groove Wines

This label brings the knowledge of six friends into a beautiful collision with the best vineyards in one of the most exciting wine regions. Our Pinot Noir vineyard ‘Cabal’ is a clay and limestone vineyard on the north facing slopes of the Omihi Hills. We practice low intervention wine-making – natural yeasts, minimal handling, no additions, filtering or fining, light filtration for clarity and stability. Our headquarters is the organic, permaculture property called The Food Farm in the heart of the Waipara Valley.


Waipara Hills

At Waipara Hills our winemaking philosophy is simple. It’s about creating perfect balance, encouraging the characteristics of each season’s fruit to shine, whilst celebrating South Island vineyards. The result is wine that is rich, textural and bursting with complex flavour.

From the vineyards to the winery, our team are hands on in perfecting their craft, pouring a little of themselves into everything they do. Discover the Soul of the South with Waipara Hills.

Pinot Noir 2017



Check out the full programme, and see what you’re in for


Culinary Programme

Delicious food created by an all-star line up of kiwi chefs


The Speakers

A stellar line up of keynote speakers – 30 in all