It was seen by most as a useless wasteland... until the local vignerons saved the land for wine
Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, Hawke's Bay
In 1876 the floods in New Zealand’s region of Hawkes Bay turned some rivers into land. After the floods subsided the Ngaruroro River had changed its course and a vista of gravel was left behind on a latitude of 39.2S in a warm sun-filled valley, greened lightly with spring rains. Some was farmed by the Gimblett family, but by most it was seen as a useless wasteland, only fit to quarry. So a quarry began….almost, until the local vignerons saved the land for wine.
On the right bank of this old river a vigneron did not see wasteland, he saw a terroir, or rather several terroirs. Different soil mixes, stone and mineral rich, suitable perhaps for different vines. Chardonnay where the river had left a little less stone and cooler breezes, Merlot and Cabernet Franc where there was more stone and warmth, even Syrah and parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.
Craggy Range is fortunate to have 100 hectares of this famous 850 hectare area, and our Gimblett Gravels Vineyard is widely regarded amongst the very best vineyards for Bordeaux Reds and Syrah in New Zealand.
Its unique location creates the warmest vineyard area in the country, where other climatic factors such as sunshine hours, humidity and rainfall are also ideal. The stony soils further warm the entire environment of the vine and create excellent soil conditions for making ultra-premium red wines from these varieties.
The stylistic characters of red wines from the vineyard are richness, ripeness and elegance with a distinctive fine dusty tannin finish we call Gimblett Dust. The Chardonnay from the vineyard is also very highly regarded, with distinctive lemon floral notes and pronounced minerality on the palate.