The Soil

The vineyard is perched on a gravel terrace above the south bank of the majestic Awatere River. The 14 metres high and 700 metres long cliff alongside the vineyard offers a fantastic view of the soil profile giving Jean-Charles complete confidence in his choice of site.

Soils are typical of a river deposited sequence with free draining gravel (two to four metres) overlaying mudstone, with the odd patch of loess though rarely more than half a metre, in the hollows. Being the latest terrace (in geological terms) before the river bed, the soils are fairly recent and comparable to those found along Rapaura Road in the Wairau Valley. Interestingly, the mudstone is not dissimilar to some famous soil types, typically the 'molasses' found in St Emilion on the slopes. These highly desirable components are notoriously hard for the root system to penetrate, making the volume of soil exploitable by the vines limited. For the viticulturist, this is heaven in terms of vine vigour control and producing quality grapes.