The diversity of our three vineyards ensures that a little mystery is cultivated in every bottle that Spy Valley produces. From the sheltered valleys to the sun-drenched hill tops, the secrets of our wines lie in the microclimatic influences they enjoy.
Flavours of the tropics, influenced by the moderate continental climate of the Johnson Estate, are revealed to those fortunate enough to experience the wines produced from this valley. Here, vines of the very young, stony, free-draining lower riverside terraces blend with older terraces with deeper topsoils, higher clay content and underlying river gravels. The warmer summer climate combines with lower winter temperatures and higher spring and autumn frost risk to make for a shorter and more intense growing season than in our other vineyards, developing excellent Pinot Noir and aromatic varieties.
Cloaked by the walls of a deep gulley, the Outpost’s steep, north-facing hill slopes are sheltered from New Zealand’s cooler winds and angled to gain the greatest benefit of the sun’s warmth. The Outpost is perfectly positioned for ripening Syrah and intensely flavoured Pinot Noir, while the deep clay and silt soils help impart a fleshy texture to the wines.
It’s no secret that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is one of the world’s favourite wines, but less well known is just how ideal Area H171’s variable stony river wash soils and fine, deep alluvium seams are to growing this variety. With a climate influenced by its proximity to the ocean, and Summer sea breezes, this vineyard experiences more moderate summer and winter temperatures. The longer slower growing season on this river flood plain yields a fresh, green style of Sauvignon.
Situated further inland from Johnson Estate our Black Knight vineyard features an even stronger diurnal difference. This helps to maintain acids and freshness in the wines while having enough warmth to develop good ripeness and earlier harvest dates. This is also aided by the free draining stony loam soils formed from alluvium gravels.