Esk Valley sources the grapes it uses to produce its fine wines from two main wine regions in New Zealand – Hawkes Bay and Marlborough.
On the east coast of North Island and overlooking the South Pacific Ocean is Hawkes Bay. The vineyards naturally enjoy a maritime climate. The winter is not too cold, the summer not too hot and the settled milder autumn allows a slow final development of flavour and aroma in the grapes, running up to vintage. Esk Valley sources a high proportion of its red grapes from the prestigious sub-region of Hawkes Bay, the Gimblett Gravels. This area is rapidly becoming one of the most famed New World terroirs. Under a thin layer of silt and sand, the ground is comprised of free draining, highly infertile gravel. Located 15km inland, it’s not subject to cooling sea breezes which are a feature of many of the other Hawkes Bay sub regions – so it gets hot! Importantly, not only is the air hotter here, the ground is too, due to the heat retentive properties of the stones.
All the fruit that goes to make Esk Valley wines comes either from their own vineyards or from long-term contracts with local growers who are all supported by a dedicated viticultural team. This combination enables Esk Valley to maintain a consistent, high quality.
Just behind the old winery lies Esk’s famous terraced vineyard, believed to be the first of its kind in New Zealand, with its stunning views over the bay and out to sea; home of the renowned ‘Heipipi The Terraces’ wine.