Waimea Estates has over 140 hectares of grapes planted across five vineyards. The predominant soil composition consists of free-draining alluvial soils, ideal for nurturing healthy vine growth. The tempering influence of maritime elements and the protective embrace of surrounding hills facilitate abundant sunshine hours and a long ripening season. This harmonious fusion creates an optimal "terroir" that fosters the cultivation of exceptional, high-quality grapes.
Nelson's sheltered topography protects the vineyards from strong winds; its proximity to the sea gives milder temperatures than other South Island regions, mitigating frost risk. Blessed with a remarkable number of clear days (regularly New Zealand's sunniest region), good diurnal variation helps emphasize varietal character and the high sunlight hours give wonderful fruit purity.
The Waimea Plains boasts stony alluvial soils, contributing to the unique terroir that shapes its wines. These soils, rich in mineral content and composed of well-draining gravel and stones, provide an ideal foundation for grape cultivation. Their excellent drainage ensures the vine roots receive optimal water supply, preventing waterlogging and fostering healthy vine growth.
The influence of the nearby maritime elements further adds to the distinctive winemaking style of Waimea Plains. The moderating effect of the maritime climate tempers temperature extremes, allowing for a longer ripening season. This extended period facilitates the development of complex flavours and refined acidity in the grapes, resulting in wines that showcase brightness and freshness.