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The Story

Esk Valley Estate was first established by Englishman Robert Bird in 1933 under the name Glenvale. Bird constructed the original winery and cellars and focussed on producing fortified wine styles that were popular at the time. Glenvale grew quickly and at its peak was the 5th largest winery in New Zealand.

Esk Valley original winery ironwork gate logo

Sir George Fistonich owner of Villa Maria saved and renamed the estate in 1986 with a focus on high quality wines from local Hawkes Bay vineyards.  In 1988 a program to re-establish an abandoned terraced vineyard was undertaken.  This vineyard on the north facing valley wall of the old winery site was planted in 1989 and the resulting wine, The Terraces, has become one of New Zealand’s most highly sought-after wines.

Our long-standing winemaker, Gordon Russell, was appointed in 1993 and has dedicated the last 25 years to developing our reputation as a boutique winery, renowned for hand-crafted premium reds and elegant whites made in a traditional fashion with as little intervention as possible to reflect site and season.

Gordon Russell