Gisborne is a dry farmed region in that the moisture retaining qualities of our clay colloidal soils are such that grape growers don't need irrigated water as an artificial stimulant to produce world class wine. In the world of climate change and carbon sequestration there is no other region in New Zealand which makes this definition more poignant.

And not to forget, we are also the first to see the sun, enabling us to extract the best rays before passing the remainder on to the rest of the world.

The combination of high sunshine hours, a verdant landscape and the relaxed lifestyle of this distant region, makes Gisborne ideal for chardonnay productions and consumption, and presents a beguiling destination for the white burgundy aficionado. READ MORE

The region

Chardonnay grapes, Gisborne Classic ChardonnayGisborne chardonnay possesses a unique set of flavours, featuring tropical fruits, melon yet with good acidity to balance the inherent fruit characteristic.This is attributed to the fact that the Gisborne wine growing region enjoys a classic Pacific maritime climate, and a mixture of soil types from fine silt loam to heavier clays on both the plains and the hills surrounding the Poverty Bay plain.

Situated on the most easterly coastal tip of the North Island of New Zealand and sheltered by hills and mountain ranges to the North and North West, Gisborne enjoys a warm dry climate moderated by its maritime proximity and the cooling afternoon sea breezes which are characteristic of many of the world’s great wine growing regions.

Gisborne’s chardonnay story began in the late 1960s when Bill Irwin, founder of Matawhero Wines, began importing and experimenting with new varietal grape varities to complement the districts existing bulk wine varieties such as chasselas, riesling sylvaner and pinotage.

Irwin imported the first Mendoza chardonnay clones to New Zealand and planted them in Gisborne.The rest is, as they say, history.

Gisborne Classic Chardonnay
Chardonnay from the Gisborne region of New Zealand