Hawke’s Bay Region
Situated on the east coast of the North Island is Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s oldest and second largest wine region.
At a latitude of 39.5°, Hawke’s Bay is slightly warmer than Marlborough. Its climate and alluvial soils make it arguably the most exciting find in recent times for the cultivation of Merlot in New Zealand.
With the exception of the flat Heretaunga Plains, the majority of Hawke’s Bay is rolling countryside. Ancient alluvial river terraces provide for a superb mix of soils over gravelly, free-draining sub-soils, with an abundance of pure river
water for irrigation. The soils of Hawke’s Bay are derived from the gravels, silts and sands left behind as the three main rivers of the area changed courses over thousands of years. Hawke’s Bay is known for its diversity of soils with more than twenty-five distinct soil types from clay loam to limestone, to sands and gravel offering the region a tremendous diversity for wine styles.
With a temperate maritime climate, the vines are warmed by strong clear
sunlight during the day and cooled at night by the sea breezes of the Pacific Ocean. This is the unique environment in which Merlot produces its vibrant and elegant varietal flavours.