The future looks bright for one of New Zealand’s oldest wineries, Vidal Estate, as it relocates to a new state-of-the-art winery located in the Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay. June 30 was an historic moment for the winery, first established by pioneer Anthony Vidal in 1905, as the doors of the Vidal Estate winery and restaurant in Hastings closed for the last time.
Going forward, all grapes harvested in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay will be made at the new Hawkes Bay winery, The Gravels.
To make great wine, the closer to the vineyards the better, said Hugh Crichton, winemaker at Vidal Estate. “It was an exciting time to move our winemaking base out to the Gimblett Gravels for vintage 2018. While it has been immensely satisfying to ferment and age our wines in the historic cellars in Hastings there’s no denying there were challenges. Being closer to our vineyards and working within a winery designed for quality will without a doubt further push us into the premium market”.
Not for the first time, Sir George Fistonich has revitalised the Vidal Estate brand to ensure it has a sustainable future and remains one of the country’s best premium wine producers. Sir George Fistonich first purchased the winery in 1976 and made history three years later when New Zealand’s first winery restaurant – Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant - opened at the original site. It was a milestone that shaped the landscape of New Zealand’s dining history.
“It was a difficult decision to sell the property as Vidal was not only our first restaurant, but it was the first winery restaurant in New Zealand, so it holds a lot of historical relevance. With the challenges of being nestled in a residential area we had outgrown the facility,” said Sir George Fistonich.
“Vidal Estate’s loyal customers will be able to continue to taste and buy wine direct from the cellar door and enjoy some of the regions finest produce at the new home of Vidal Estate - The Gravels”.
The move to the new winery, cellar door, restaurant and event space at the ‘The Gravels’ is a milestone for Vidal Estate and marks a new chapter for Hugh Crichton and the team, positioning the winery well for future growth and further cementing its place in the world as a fine wine producer.
The existing Te Awa site located at 2375 State Highway 50, Hastings, will combine with the new winery to officially become ‘The Gravels’ – the Hawkes Bay home of Vidal Estate, Esk Valley, Te Awa Collection and Villa Maria on 1 October 2018.