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Explore the Hawke's Bay wine region

Wine Varietals

What are the signature grape varietals grown in Hawke's Bay?

Hawke's Bay is known to grow exceptional grapes across a variety of varietals. Renowned as New Zealand's leading producer of Syrah and Bordeaux styled red blends, Hawke's Bay shows its art in creating complex and vibrant fruit characteristics.

The unique maritime climate and diverse soils offer the Syrah grape the perfect conditions for the grape to flourish. Syrah isn't the only star of the show for Hawke's Bay, many awards later you'll find Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to be alongside Syrah with international recognition.

How does the climate of Hawke's Bay influence the production of these varietals?

The climate of sunny Hawke's Bay plays a crucial role, the region's diverse microclimates influenced by the proximity to the ocean, rivers and mountain ranges allow these grapes to have such a diverse range of growing conditions.

The cooler pockets of Hawke's Bay are suited to white wine grapes such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The well drained soils that Hawke's Bay offers is also critical. Gravel, limestone and clay are three well draining soils that are present in this area. Warm temperatures, diverse microclimates and well drained soils are the key to the success of the regions wines, a blend of these natural factors all contribute to why Hawke's bay is known as one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions.

Climate and Terroir

How does the unique maritime influenced climate contribute to the growing conditions and flavour profiles of the wine?

A vital role, the maritime influenced Hawke's Bay climate shapes the growing conditions and flavour profiles. The three key contributions are; The moderating effect: The pacific ocean keeps the moderate temperatures at bay in Hawkes Bay, cooler summers and milder winters compared to further inland regions.

Sunny days and cool nights is another factor, a classic among popular grape growing conditions, its important to have those long sunny days during growing season to help the grapes get their natural sweetness as well as the cooler nights to help preserve that natural acidity in the grapes.

Lastly, the ripening of red grapes in the region that is filled with long sunny days and cooler nights effect that optimal ripening especially for their Syrah, merlot and cab sav. the combo of temperature fluctuations give the wines great development, soft tannins and complex aromatics.

What are the key geographical elements that make Hawke's Bay an exceptional wine-growing region in NZ?

Hawke's Bay which is situated on the east coast of the north island in NZ have some great geographical features that makes the wines stand out. A few mentioned earlier is the maritime climate, diverse microclimates, well drained soils and its elevation and slopes. This combo shows the geographical elements that provide a perfect foundation for the regions diverse and high quality wine offerings.

Winemaking Practises

What sustainable and organic winemaking practises are being adopted by Hawke's Bay wineries?

An increasing awareness to sustainable and organic winemaking practises is taken into consideration in many local wineries. Promoting biodiversity, protecting the environment and producing wines that resonate with the more conscious consumers are being adopted by many wineries in Hawke's Bay.

In particular, organic farming is becoming a more popular choice, avoiding herbicides and synthetic pesticides fertilisers while instead promoting soil health and biodiversity is resonating with many as it boosts the purest expression of the terroir. Farmers are incorporating holistic and spiritual practices into agriculture by using natural materials and focusing on vine vitality.

How does the winemaking process in Hawke's Bay differ from other NZ regions?

Terroir, climate and winemaking philosophies are the unique and winning combo for the region. The warm maritime climate gives the grapes an extended growing season compared to cooler regions like Marlborough, the red grapes love it and that's why Hawke's Bay
is known for their popular reds.

Close to the ocean, mountain ranges and river systems, the region holds a very diverse microclimate which reflects versatility and adaptability within the region. Holding a very rich heritage the traditions don't lack here, more and more wineries and embracing modern winemaking techniques and innovations while also preserving those traditional methods which gives the wines a very harmonious blend of old and new world winemaking.

Wine Tourism

What are the top 3 must-visit wineries in Hawke's Bay?

If you're heading to Hawke's Bay
for a weekend getaway I'm sure there is a least one or two wineries on your to do list. There are many great choices to visit, here are our top three picks of the bunch:

Craggy Range - known for their award-winning Bordeaux varietals you'll take in breathtaking views and a stunning backdrop of Te Mata peak.

Te Mata Estate - Enjoy a guided wine tasting or explore their cellar door, located right in the heart of Hawke's Bay you'll indulge in premium wines with historical vineyards that date back from the 19th century.

Elephant Hill Winery - another popular choice that over looks the pacific ocean known for their elegant chardonnay's and Syrah's, indulge in a gourmet dinner at their restaurant while enjoying the panoramic view of the region.

Are there any wine tours or events that are worth the visit?

There is a heap of wine events and tours in Hawke's Bay! There are a few wine tours that you can personalise to where you want to go to visit a selection of top wineries.

Enjoy a bay tour and charter or if you are more of an event guru, head to the Hawke's Bay wine celebration which is their annual event that celebrates a diverse range of wine offerings.

Recognition and Innovation

Can you advise any recently awarded Hawke's Bay wineries?

Craggy Range received numerous awards and accolades for their wines but especially their Bordeaux styled varietals. The winery's commitment to quality and innovation has also earned them a prominent place in NZ wine landscape.

Te Mata Estate is one of NZs old and most prestigious winery also known for its Bordeaux styled blends has consistently received high ratings and awards for its premium wines

Are there any notable initiatives aimed at preserving the region's natural resources?

A known region for their commitment to sustainability and environmental initiatives! Sustainable winegrowing NZ (SWNZ) is an industry led program that promotes sustainable practises in vineyard and winery operations

Many Hawke's Bay wineries are actively engaged in biodiversity enhancement and conservation efforts within their work.

Water conservation and management - given Hawke's Bay has a dry climate and variable rainfall patterns, water conservation is a crucial part for sustainable vineyard operations.

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