Each season we ask The Landing’s viticulturist, Andrew Hull, to talk us through the vineyard’s happenings and what’s planned for the near future; but first, we thought we’d share just what makes The Landing vineyard so unique.
The story of The Landing vineyard:
The story of wine production in New Zealand is thought to have started in 1819, when vines were planted in the Bay of Islands by Reverend Samuel Marsden. In later years, the Purerua Peninsula became a thriving hub due to its fertile soils and abundant marine life. The Landing has continued to harness the richness and spirit of the area with the establishment of an innovative, sustainable vineyard.
Beginning in 2007, nine hectares of vines have been planted on a gently undulating slope overlooking Wairoa Bay. The vineyard’s close proximity to the water means it enjoys a regular sea breeze, which keeps the vines dry, and coastal soil that imparts unique mineral flavours. These uncommon factors are complimented by The Landing’s location within a rain shadow, protected by the hills from prevailing winds. The vineyard sits, in essence, within a unique microclimate.
To suit the special nature of these surroundings, new ways forward in production have been developed. Vines are planted with wide spacing to welcome the sunshine, and there is no irrigation, meaning the roots have to push deep into the soil. This helps to balance the effects of both rain and drought, as the further the roots go into the soil, the more consistent the water source and nutrients become. As a result, the wines hold flavours and levels of complexity not seen before.
The Landing Wines current portfolio includes Rosé, Syrah, Chardonnay and plantings have expanded over recent years to include Sangiovese, Pinot Gris, Montepulciano, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Processed at local winery Marsden Estate, by award-winning winemaker Rod McIvor, the wines are then cellared at The Landing.
An autumn wrap-up and winter plans, from viticulturist Andrew Hull:
At The Landing vineyard, all the crops are protected from damage by birds by netting. This was rolled up after harvest and stored for next season. We then repaired any posts and wires and other vineyard equipment. We have sent samples of soil to a laboratory to determine our current fertiliser requirements for next season’s production.
During the winter we will maintain and repair our vineyard equipment and prune the grapevines in preparation for next year’s growth.
Vineyard Assistant Jake Dromgool will be competing for the second time in the Young Viticulturist competition in the Auckland regional event.
We will soon be getting set up for Winetopia in Auckland on June 9 and 10 and the Boutique Wine Festival in Auckland on June 11; we are looking forward to meeting current and new customers.