Te Arai Vineyard


· Location: Papatu Road, Manutuke, Gisborne
· Established: 1984
· Size: 2.82 Hectares
· Soil Type: Matawhero silt loam - friable topsoil phase and Waipaoa silt loam
· Grape Varieties: Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Malbec, Muscat

Te Arai Vineyard was originally the bull paddock and later a citrus nursery. Thie block was planted in 1984 and it also houses the winery, offices, gardens and Annie and James' home.

It sits right on the riverbank bounded on three sides by the Te Arai River, which originates way back in the hills of the Waingake Valley. Through the ages this river has cut a deep rut in the land that makes up the valley floor. A rut so deep that, in former times, it proved to be impassable.

Tuhoe Maori from Lake Waikaremoana camped on this land whilst they awaited permission to cross the river and trade seafood for wood pigeons with local tribes on the coast. A sacred piece of ground.

Te Arai vineyard is planted with Chenin Blanc, Malbec, Merlot and a small parcel of Muscat outside James and Annie's kitchen window for eating. On the millennium these grapes were then used to make Muskats @ Dawn (antiquity into the modern era) and the success of this wine means there are very little left to eat!

Through the middle of this vineyard, and in keeping with the diversity theme, James planted a nature habitat of gravilleas and bottle brush trees, wanting to attract the native birds including bellbird and tui, both nectar-eating birds and very territorial, therefore tending to scare off other fruit-eating birds. Bees are also attracted to these beautiful red flowers and it is also where they house the beehives.

Clos Monique and Clos Samuel - two special vineyards named after James and Annie's children, are situated on a lower river plain at either end of the Te Arai Vineyard. The soils are incredibly high in silica and silt.