The Hunt Vineyard

The Site

The Hunt Vineyard is owned by Blair and Estelle Hunt and sits on the eastern bank of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn, Central Otago. The vineyard has a northwesterly aspect and the Riesling block is nestled on a gentle slope at the bottom of a rocky escarpment providing a natural light and warmth trap. The low rainfall and substantial diurnal variance through the ripening period ensures perfect Riesling ripening conditions. The unique geology of the site provides an interesting dynamic between the soil, water and grapevine.

The Vines

This Riesling block planted in 1997 is a miniscule 0.74 of a hectare, comprises GM110 and GM198-19 clones of Riesling and is planted to approximately 3000 vines per hectare.

The Soil

As once proposed by the legendary Brian Croser, Riesling can express it’s site petrology better than any other grape variety, thus the Hard Rock/Soft Rock theory was born or should I say metamorphosed. The Hunt Vineyard is a study in geological beauty and complexity. The topsoil is a much prized Loess of aeolian origins, the result of ice on rock wear during glaciation which has then been picked up by wind and deposited in a calm spot, i.e., the Hunt Vineyard. Beneath the Loess lies layer upon layer of alluvial deposit gravels, again the work of rock and ice but this time with the help of water instead of wind. Finally and visually the most striking aspect of this vineyard are the colluvial Schist and Gneiss rocks that lie on the surface of the soil, a study of geological re-engineering of minerals and crystals. Enough to make anyone thirsty.