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edited by Sue Courtney
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Nelson - Vines amongst the 'baccy
Original musings
© by Sue Courtney
17 October 2001
updated July 2007

Nelson is located at the top of the South Island of New Zealand and claims fame as the only commercial tobacco producing region in New Zealand. Until about 20 years ago, along with the 'baccy, apples and hops were the mainstay of this horticultural region and during the harvest season the town's population swelled by the influx of transient workers.

During the 1960's and early 1970's, Nelson was definitely the 'hippy' town of New Zealand but many of the transients stayed and tourists returned to settle, enjoying the lifestyle and climate that this sunny region offered. It is not surprising, then, that modern viticulture soon joined the list of horticulture activities in the Nelson valley.

The main horticultural activities take place in a geologically formed lowlands between the Arthur Range - which hosts some of NZ's oldest rocks - to the west and the geologically intriguing Richmond Range on the Alpine Fault Line to the east. The Richmond Range separates Nelson from its slightly southerly neighbour, the country's premier grape growing region, Marlborough.

There are two distinct viticultural subregions within Nelson - the flat, free draining, alluvial Waimea Plains in the east on the edge of the Richmond Range and the low rolling Moutere Hills further west..

Viticulture is also emerging in the Golden Bay area, over the Takaka Hill at the top of the Arthur Range.

Although there was some dabbling with vines from 1918 onwards and Frank Berrysmith, the government viticulturist, recorded 5 acres of outdoor vines in his 1960 survey, Hermann Seifried is the modern founder of Nelson viticulture, establishing his first vineyard in Upper Moutere in 1974.

Looking back at Michael Cooper's groundbreaking work, the first edition of "The Wines and Vineyards of New Zealand" (1984), the statistics that he cites from 1982 indicate there was only 39 hectares planted in vines, just 0.6% of the national vineyard total, with only a single handful of licensed producers.

But did Cooper make a mistake when he said "Nelson is unlikely to emerge as a major district for wine"? For in 2001 Nelson is the country's 4th largest producing region after Marlborough, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay. The number of licensed producers has now increased to 28.

Regional Statistics

Nelson Grape Variety tonnages harvested from 2002, 2003 & 2004

In 2002 there was approximately 360 hectares of producing vine area in Nelson. This is expected to increase by another 100 hectares over the next two years with the major growth being in sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir.

Variety

2002*

2003*

2004*

Chardonnay

604

1,118

1,162

Gewurztraminer

41

44

119

Muscat Varieties

0

2

0

Pinot Gris

21

30

84

Riesling

190

335

341

Sauvignon Blanc

625

899

1,774

Semillon

2

4

0

Other White Vinifera

4

0

3

Cabernet Franc

5

18

16

Cabernet Sauvignon

45

44

46

Malbec

15

55

80

Merlot

11

65

92

Pinot Noir

209

504

818

Pinotage

1

0

0

Syrah

6

18

19

Other Red Vinifera

6

11

9

All Hybrids

0

3

0

Total

1,785

3,150

4,563

* Figures are rounded and may not add to the total as supplied by New Zealand Winegrowers.

Nelson-based Wineries - updated July 2007
Waimea sub-region
Brightwater Vineyards Ltd
546 Main Road, Brightwater
Phone: (03) 5441066
Email: enquiries@brightwaterwine.co.nz
Web: www.brightwaterwine.co.nz
Open for sales daily from 11am to 5pm through to Easter.

Fossil Ridge
161 Hill Street, Richmond
Phone: (03) 5447459
Email: fossil.ridge@clear.net.nz
Web: www.fossilridge.co.nz
Open daily from 11am to 5pm in summer and from 12pm to 3pm from Monday to Friday in winter.

Greenhough Vineyard & Winery
Patons Road, Richmond
Phone: (03) 5423868
Email: greenhough.vineyard@clear.net.nz
Open from 1pm to 5pm daily in January and weekends only from Labour Weekend to Easter. Open for sales all year by appointment.

Kaimira Estate
121 River Terrace Road, Brightwater
Phone: (03) 5423431
Email: sales@kaimirawines.com
Web: www.kaimirawines.com
Tasting and sales year round by appointment at the winery.

McCashins
600 Main Road, Stoke
Phone: (03) 5475357 or: (021) 689437
Web:
Wines available at Macs Brewery Shop, open daily.

Richmond Plains (Holmes Brothers)
McShane Road, Richmond
Phone: (03) 5444230
Email: wine@hbd.co.nz
Web: www.organicwines.co.nz
Tastings and sales at The Grape Escape Winery and Cellar, McShane Road from 10.30am to 4.30pm daily in the summer and 11am to 4pm from Wednesday to Sunday in the winter.

Seifried Estate
cnr SH69 and Redwood Road, Appleby
Phone: (03) 5445599
Email: wines@seifried.co.nz
Web: www.seifried.co.nz
Cellar Door and Cafe - open daily except, Xmas and Good Friday

Stafford Lane
Moutere Highway, RD1, Richmond
Phone: (03) 544 2851
Email: info@staffordlane.co.nz
Web: www.staffordlane.co.nz
Open daily, 11am-5pm. Platters of estate produced olives, olive oil, hazelnut dukkah and chutney also available.

Te Mania Estate Ltd
Pughs Road, Richmond
Phone: (03) 5444541
Email: temania@ts.co.nz
Web: www.temaniawines.co.nz
Daily tastings and sales at The Grape Escape Winery and Cellar, McShane Road (See Richmond Plains above).

Waimea Estates (Nelson) Ltd
148 Main Road, Hope
Phone: (03) 5446385
Email: waimeaestates@ts.co.nz
Web: www.waimeaestates.co.nz
Cellar Door and Café - open daily 10am to 5pm.

Over the Takaka Hill
Golden Bay Vineyard and Winery
Abel Tasman Drive, Motuipi, Golden Bay
Phone: (03)525 9167
Email: petros@goldenbaywines.com
Web: www.goldenbaywines.com
Open in the summer from 11am to 5pm, with tastings from 1pm.

Waiwera Estate
Rocklands Road, Clifton, Takaka
Phone: (03) 5258059
Email: argofile@xtra.co.nz
Winery and vineyard tours by appointment
Wines available at Golden Bay Winery.

Others
Alexia
PO Box 5473, Wellington
Email: jane.cooper@alexia.co.nz

Chamberlain Vineyard
Motueka

Jamie Tait Wines
Upper Moutere

Kina Holdings
Nelson

Lodestone
Upper Moutere

Orinoco Vineyards
Nelson

Parr & Simpson Limestone Bay
Takaka

Penley Grove
Richmond

Soma Wines
Richmond

Moutere sub-region to Motueka
Anchorage Wines
Flett Road, Lower Moutere
Email: info@anchoragewines.co.nz
Web: www.anchoragewines.co.nz
Open: Dec-March 7 days 10am - 4pm, April-Nov Thurs-Sun 11am - 4pm.

Atalaya Vineyard
135 Awa Awa Road, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5403555
Expected to open for the 2005 summer. Call first.

Blackenbrook Vineyard
50 Baldwin Road, RD1, Tasman
Phone: (03) 526 6888
Email: info@blackenbrook.co.nz
Web: www.blackenbrook.co.nz

Glover's Vineyard
Gardner Valley Road, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5432698
Email: info@glovers-vineyard.co.nz
Web: www.glovers-vineyard.co.nz
Open for sales and tastings from 10am to 5pm, spring to autumn. Call first at other times.

Himmelsfeld
Gardner Valley Road, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5432223
Fax: (03) 5432223
Email: info@himmelsfeld.co.nz
Web: www.himmelsfeld.co.nz
Open daily Labour weekend to Easter. Open most days or by appointment in winter.

Kahurangi Estate
Sunrise Road, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5432980
Email: wine@kahurangiwine.com
Web: www.kahurangiwine.com
Cellar door and cafe open daily from 11am to 5pm from September through to May.

Kina Beach Vineyard
Dee Road, Kina Beach, Tasman
Phone: (03) 5432980
Email: kinabeach@xtra.co.nz
Web: www.kinabeach.com
Vineyard accommodation

Moutere Hills Vineyard
Eggers Road, Sunrise Valley, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5432288
Email: email@mouterehills.co.nz
Web: www.mouterehills.co.nz
Cellar Door and Cafe open 11am to 6pm, mid-October to Easter

Neudorf Vineyards
Neudorf Road, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5432643
Email: wine@neudorf.co.nz
Web: www.neudorf.co.nz
Open daily in January from 10am to 5pm. Open September to May from 10.30am to 4.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

Redoubt Hill Vineyard
Motueka Valley Highway, Motueka
Phone: (03) 528 6956
Email: info@redoubthill.co.nz
Web: www.redoubthill.co.nz
Cellar door sales and accommodation. Check for opening hours.

Renato Estate
Dee Road, Kina Beach, Tasman
Phone: (03) 545 1413
Email: info@renatoestate.co.nz
Web: renatoestate.co.nz
Special vineyard tasting days for email customers.

Rimu Grove Winery Ltd
Bronte Road East, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5402345
Email: rimugrove@xtra.co.nz
Web: www.rimugrove.co.nz
Open 7 days from 11am to 5pm Christmas through February. Open weekends only from Labour Weekend to Easter.

Ruby Bay Vineyard
271 Ponoma Road, Ruby Bay
Phone: (03) 5403938
Email: wine@rubybayvineyard.co.nz
Web: www.rubybayvineyard.co.nz
Open Summer: Thurs to Mon 11am - 4pm, Winter: Most weekends.
Vineyard Accommodation.

Spencer Hill Estate & Tasman Bay
Best Road, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5432031
Email: spencer.hill@clear.net.nz
Web: www.spencerhillwine.com
and www.tasmanbaywine.com
Tasting and sales January and February. Sales only the rest of the year.

Sunset Valley Vineyard
Eggers Road, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5432161
Web: www.sunsetvalleyvineyard.co.nz
Email: info@sunsetvalleyvineyard.co.nz
Open daily from 11am to 5pm from November to March.

Woollaston Estates
(formerly known as Wai-iti River Vineyard)
243 Old Coach Road, Upper Moutere
Phone: (03) 5432817
Email: wine@woollastonestates.co.nz
Web: www.woollastonestates.co.nz
Tastings and sales 7 days, 11am - 4.30pm January and February, Labour Weekend and Easter. Other months by appointment.

Obsolete
Abel Tasman Wines Ltd, Larges Lane, Nelson - unresolved links, Jan 2005.

Denton Winery, Awa Awa Road, Upper Moutere. Sold in 2003

Pomona Ridge Vineyard, Ruby Bay, Nelson. Sold in 2001.

Ruby Bay Winery, Korepo Road, Upper Moutere. Closed in 2002. Not to be confused to with new Ruby Bay Vineyard, above.

Related Links for Nelson Winery Guides
www.www.wineart.co.nz - includes a clickable map and detailed information of the wineries open to the public. Up to date, July 2007.

Keep up to date with what's happening in Nelson with the wine and food scene at www.tastenelson.co.nz.

© Sue Courtney
The information on this page was researched by Sue Courtney and normal copyright applies, including the html code.


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