Hope Vineyard – BioGro 5119 – Certified Organic

Our property in Hope comprises eight hectares of vines planted in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Blanc. It is also the site of our winery and home.


Site and Soil

Situated on an inland terrace of the Waimea Plains beneath the Barnicoat and Richmond ranges, our vineyards sit at a gentle 35-40 meters elevation. These alluvial terraces now so peaceful, were formed by turbulent processes around 20 millennia ago when a period of brutal cold led to erosion of the eastern ranges. The loosened mountain gravels were seized and deposited by repeated flash-flooding of the Wairoa River, forming the productive ground we know today.

Our distinctive inland soil type includes a finer clay loam within its upper profile distinguishing it from many of the stony terraces across the wider plain. This denser clay fraction holds moisture and contributes a positive depth and texture to our wines. The looser gravels beneath allow roots to descend and spread freely. Irrigation is needed to foster new plantings and supplements rainfall over the very driest periods of summer.

Prevailing breezes from the south and north consistently ventilate the vines and moderate temperatures over the growing season. This air movement is also our friend when late spring frosts threaten.

Vines are cane pruned to a single fruiting wire and trained as a simple canopy of vertically positioned shoots (VSP). This is the first step towards moderating yields and creating an open canopy suffused with sunlight. The careful tasks of canopy management follow throughout the season and include shoot thinning and positioning, leaf removal, bunch thinning and harvest. With the exception of Sauvignon Blanc these tasks are carried out by hand.

Our craft revolves around a cycle of growth and fermentation. It is a process always in flux and naturally, practices evolve as our instincts are honed and understanding deepens.


In 2008 we moved to an organic management programme in the vineyard gaining full certification with BioGro NZ in 2011. Winemaking practices according to BioGro approved standards followed soon after this. Organics seemed the logical next step in our quest to make authentic wines, fully expressive of our place and people. We were motivated by a desire to improve the environment in which we worked and lived and to eliminate the use of herbicides, insecticides, systemic fungicides and chemical fertilizers. 

Important also was improvement of soil health and biodiversity through the application of compost produced from grape residue and the cultivation of naturally occurring and selectively planted cover crops. We also wanted to adopt a management plan that would demand a closer, more proactive engagement with our vines and ask questions of previous practices. Sheep now graze the vineyard throughout winter, clearing the understory and contributing in a small way to soil fertility.

In the intervening 15 plus years our own experience together with industry wisdom has enabled us to responded to the challenges posed by organics. We’ve overcome the difficulties of under-vine weed control on stony ground without the use of herbicides, experimented with pruning systems to encourage vine strength and health and adapted the timing and specifics of canopy management in the name of vine balance and disease mitigation.

Organics is hands-on.  It means going into battle every season with the intent and determination to combat whatever nature throws our way – to assess and respond.        

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