Gimblett Gravels



NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group


Gimblett Gravels has the ooh là là factor. The district has won 600 gold medals and 210 trophies in domestic wine competitions since 1998 and 105 gold medals and 35 trophies in international wine competitions. Not bad for an area that used to be a rubbish dump, drag-racing site and gravel mine. The 800ha stony-soiled region was formed when the Ngaruroro River changed course after a flood in 1867, and later in 1931, after the Hawke's Bay earthquake left behind greywacke, shingle, stones and sand. The stony soils create a hot, low-fertility growing environment, which makes plants stressed. Vines under pressure produce sweeter grapes but less leaf growth and a lower yield. The name Gimblett Gravels is trademarked, and to be a member of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing Association, vineyards are required to have 95 per cent of the soils associated with the Ngaruroro River. WINERIES TO VISIT: TRINITY HILL: Founded by a “trinity” of owners — acclaimed winemaker John Hancock, London restaurateurs Robyn and Robert Wilson, and American company Terroir — this is one of the region's pioneer wineries. The cellar door has glass doors that look through onto the barrel hall, which provides added entertainment during a tasting. Try the Homage syrahs, which have won multiple international awards. 2396 SH50, Hastings. (06) 879 7778, STONECROFT: A small family-owned winery, Stonecroft, is the first in the Gimblett Gravels region. It was founded in 1982 and is now owned by Dermot McCollum and Andria Monin, who live on the vineyard with their two children Emer and Oscar. 121 Mere Road, Hastings. (06) 879 9610,