The Ataahua vineyard covers 8.24 hectares in central Waipara, and is planted on the Glasnevin soils on the Weka River terraces.
Waipara Valley, North Canterbury is in the northern region of Canterbury, in New Zealand’s South Island. This sub-region has a unique micro-climate not seen anywhere else in the country. The wide valley floor is a mosaic of gravel and clay soils which were formed by an ancient glacial river bed millions of years ago. This valley is sheltered by limestone and clay hill ranges on both sides. The area is peppered with incredible fossils, some of which are over 65 million years old!
The soil and climate
The valley provides an ideal environment for ripening grapes with the Teviotdale Range providing shelter from the damp Easterly breezes, while the prevailing dry wind that North Canterbury is famous for comes from North West.
With almost 2400 hours of sunshine, and around 550ml of annual rainfall a year, the valley is the ideal environment for our vines to thrive. Long, warm autumns help ripen the fruit to perfection, and the autumnal temperature variation helps draw out the ripening throughout the day. This means the grapes maintain a good natural acidity, resulting in the concentrated flavours that make our wines delicious.
The light stone and gravelly soil of the lower terrace is mulched, and compost added regularly to build up the structure of the soil and add nutrients. This is planted with our Syrah and Pinot Noir grapes. The smaller, sloping middle terrace is planted with Pinot Noir and the top terrace of clay loam is planted with grapes that make our Riesling, Chardonnay and more Pinot Noir.
Our soil moisture and plant health is regularly monitored, and drip irrigation used when required. The water for irrigation is sourced from the Weka River Irrigation dam. We also collect rain water throughout winter and use this for irrigation during the drier summer and autumn months.
A Truely Beautiful Location
Vines are hand tended, with much care taken in ensuring the vines are in good health and well balanced. Cropping levels are kept low allowing good concentration of flavour and an even ripening in the fruit while canopies are kept open to reduce risk of disease and to increase sunlight and airflow.
Our promise to New Zealand
Ataahua are certified sustainable and focussed on producing delicious wine that are made in a sustainable way both in the vineyard and winery.
We’re focussed on taking great care of the land and environment for future generations.
Going forward we’re aiming to become Carbon Neutral and plan for planting native plant species in strategic places to encourage regenerative growth of native flora and fauna. We’re aware that ensuring a future for the wine industry in New Zealand relies on it being financially viable and sustainable.
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