Directly south of the Wairau Valley, the Awatere is the coolest and driest of Marlborough’s three sub-regions. The growing season is longer, and ripening is extended, allowing for a perfect balance of intense flavour, delicious acidity and ideal ripeness at harvest. Cradled between high mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the remote and rugged landscape, along with low vigour soils, produce distinctive fruit flavours. The Awatere provides one third of Marlborough’s total harvest, though much of the fruit is taken for regional blending.
Planting commenced in 2000 for the six sites that total 330ha in the lower Awatere Valley, set alongside the Otuwhero River. Of this area 160ha are fully planted, the balance will be developed over the coming years. Each site possesses defining characteristics in the rolling and terraced terrain. Seams of ancient alluvial gravels rise through our silt and clay soils, enabling us to select parcels from several soil profiles. The Otuwhero River is fed by melting snows from peaks that remain snow-capped year-round. From several vantage points the great mountain itself, Tapuae-o-Uenuku, can be seen, while in the opposite direction is the wide Pacific Ocean.