THE BONELINE is our watercourse to strange pasts - The river and the permeated landscape - The charcoal poem of ancient bones - The fossil's hieroglyph - A deep and local telepathy of watercourse and strata - Wine grown on the shoulders of giants - made here with humility and heart.
Named to reference the nearby K-T Boundary Line that evidences the global catastrophe of an asteroid impact on Earth, the end of the Mesozoic Era and the extinction of the dinosaurs. Our wines' labels feature fossils discovered in the Waipara River dating back as far as 65 millionyears.
We never envisioned this project as a monoculture, consequently we have planted vines in suitable pockets of differing river terraces, soils and microclimates. Surrounding these pockets, land is grazed by cattle and sheep, or used in our biodiversity projects. Through our working relationship with Wai-Ora Landscapes (NZ native and regenerative plant specialists) we have encouraged regeneration of matagouri, coprosmas, and rare mulenbeckia astonii on the steep banks of our terraces. These host populations of NZ skinks and geckos, and rare native moths. Lincoln University uses Waipara West as a native moth and butterfly trial. Several cluster plantings of native trees,… Continue reading →
The Tutton Sienko & Hill property, is a thin ribbon of multi-layered river flats sandwiched between Ram Paddock Road and the South Bank of the Waipara river, just before the road and the river wind into the Waipara Gorge. Generally soils are alluvial loams over endless uncemented gravels, with some vineyard areas having large boulders throughout the profile. As the property meanders downstream, the loam content of soils increases slightly, and in the downstream amphitheatre we grow our cabernets sauvignon and franc. The real prehistory is evident at river level - where a multitude of fossils are found hidden within the… Continue reading →
Historically this land has been dry-land farmed with sheep. It is naturally dry and free draining. We have low rainfall, being in the rainshadow of Mount. Brown to the South, and being inland from the Easterly influence. Through the use of irrigation scheduling, only essential and minimal water is drawn from our ground waters for vine irrigation. Any water leaching through, is naturally returned to the river system. Our Hellblock vineyard is very free draining, yet has under-runner watercourses which vineroots tap into naturally in some parts. Continue reading →
We have clean air with brilliant clear skies - night skies are stunning and some nights you almost feel crushed by the weight the stars - especially against the silhouette of The Deans, the three big hills rising straight up on the Northern riverbank. It's rare to get totally still days, Drying Nor'west winds /gales are common during the growing season, and this keeps the disease pressure low in the vineyards -and causes stunning cloud formations. Continue reading →
Only registered Bio-Grow products are used on the vines, so our vineyards do not suffer from in-organic fertiliser, insecticide, herbicide use. Sheep graze through the vines over late autumn and winter, producing natural fertiliser back to the soil. Being watercourse sourced, our irrigation water provides a naturally healthy level of nutrient base. We live on site, riverside - and amongst the vineyards -and this gives a heightened appreciation of the importance of general landscape wellbeing -wildlife, insects, lizards, birds, people. The prevailing Nor'West winds and dry conditions help to provide a low disease threat to vines, meaning human intervention is… Continue reading →
Looking at these vines - this is how high a healthy Waipara ewe sheep can reach when it's feeding - right in to the fruit zone. So we let them into the vineyards to graze the old gold leaves and in between the vines, as soon as we finish picking a block. Fertiliser returned to the vineyards where the foliage grew, rather than be windblown somewhere less useful. In Winter, we mulch the vine prunings so they break down, returning vine nutrients to the vineyards. In the winery, stalk and pressings are taken by neighbouring dry land farmers to feed… Continue reading →
On the human scale – we have a small, full –time staff, many who have been with us long term. We provide full time and seasonal harvest employment for local people. We are a hands-on vineyard – and hand-picked! We also get many international travellers stopping in for a season of grape-picking -adds to the fun. Lindsay Hill who lives on site, and Gary Quinn run the vineyards. In the winery, we have Jeff Sinnott as Consulting (and very hands on) Winemaker, assisted by Sean Houghton who is onsite winemaker. We have additional local cellar help over the vintage. Continue reading →
We are very proud to be part of the Farmers Market circle - to be true hands-on growers, makers and sellers of a local high quality product, and to share our wines with customers on that basis. The same ethic of transparency and directness pervades our relationships with trade customers. We are proud to add value to what they bring to people. We build long term relationships - so that people can appreciate the wines over many vintages and take part in the seasonality of vine growing. We are small scale producers, so tend to concentrate on retail and on… Continue reading →
The vineyards and winery are members of SWNZ - and when benchmarked against similar scale industry ventures, our energy use is very low. We are old-tech but committed to conservation of resources through careful use, when use is required. Our winery is constructed of insulated panel, which reduces the thermal loading, so our winery refrigeration system is very efficient. Continue reading →