With just 43ha of Pinot Noir planted, Gisborne is a small player in the New Zealand Pinot Noir pageant.
The region is the country’s easternmost and is relatively remote. It has played a pivotal role in the industry’s rise. During the 1980s it carved out a reputation for its Chardonnay, and this remains by far the region’s most widely planted variety.
Warmth and sunshine characterise the Gisborne growing season – summer weather that is often the envy of the rest of the country. These conditions ripen fruit well ahead of most other regions. Rainfall can present a challenge, especially in autumn. Most vineyards are planted on fine silt river loams and clay-based plains. The more recent Pinot Noir plantings have been on slopes with high clay content.