The title of ‘Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand’ actually belongs to the most easterly wine region in the world.

Gisborne region lies closest to the International Date Line so its extensive plantings are the first to feel the warm rays of the rising sun. The sheltered coastal plains and fertile alluvial loams over sandy subsoils make the area perfect for large-scale grape growing. Today Gisborne is the primary source of fruit for wineries all over the country. Particularly for Chardonnay which accounts for over half the total yield in Gisborne and one third of the national Chardonnay crop. It also supplies large quantities of bulk grapes for cask wine production such as Muller Thurgau and Gewurztraminer.

The region focuses mainly on white wine varieties with reds representing less than 15% of total output. Like Hawke’s Bay, the areas around Gisborne have a huge variation in soil types and produce wines with quite different characteristics. By way of contrast, some of the largest vineyards focusing on bulk production of quality wines are close to the smallest boutique vineyards in New Zealand growing organic medal-winning wines. In October each year all the vineyards celebrate the ‘First Light Wine and Food Festival’, which draws many visitors to this sunshine coast.

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Gisborne is a delightful region to visit, offering great hospitality, superb beaches for surfing, swimming and diving. There are oceans of fresh tasty seafood crying out for Chardonnay accompaniment. The area is usually explored as part of a tour around the picturesque East Cape from the Bay of Plenty, with the option of visiting glorious Lake Waikaremoana on the scenic route back to Rotorua.

The dozen vineyards in this region offer wine samplings and door sales, along with splendid venues for picnicking in gardens and native tree groves.

If you enjoy the full-bloomed fragrance of a well-rounded Chardonnay, you can quaff delicious young wines from dawn to dusk – they’re that good.

Don’t miss Gisborne’s great gift to the wine world.

By | 2016-11-26T18:58:24+00:00 February 3rd, 2014|Wine Regions|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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