Research has shown that Central Otago used to be clothed in many native species of trees, bushes and flaxes. Fires appear to have ravaged the area in the past 7500 years and only a few remnants of original vegetation remain.
We have planted the areas surrounding the vineyard (over half the total area) in native species which would have been prevalent before the Maori and European arrival.
You will find Kowhai, Totara, Ti (Cabbage Trees), Coprosma, Kanuka, Manuka, Corokia and a range of divaricating species.
An extensive collection of over 100 South Island harakeke and wharariki (native flax) cultivars has recently been planted. Plants in this collection can be traced back to the early 1900’s and possibly earlier. For more information on the history of this harakeke collection (which was until recently located at the Dunedin Botanic Garden) refer to the University of Otago’s Clothing and Textiles website.
Some exciting research into the properties of these fibres is being conducted by staff in this department.