To celebrate the launch of the Spy Valley 360 video, winemaker Paul Bourgeois invites you on a quick tour of the winery’s vineyards, secreted away in the Waihopai Valley.
Spy Valley. One award-winning winery. Four diverse vineyards. And a whole lot of Spy Valley secrets. Now, with the release of our virtual reality 360 video, customers and wine buyers around the world are immersing themselves in the sensational beauty of our Waihopai Valley, often without setting foot in New Zealand.
There are many reasons why the diverse terrain of our individual vineyards yields the perfect blends each harvest – but you won’t get all these from an aerial tour. .
Today, I’m going to let you in on a few Spy Valley vineyard secrets, from the valley floor, as the perfect accompaniment to your virtual reality winery tour. Much like a freshly shucked Bluff Oyster with your chilled Sauvignon, or those crispy duck pancakes with your Pinot Noir.
Our four vineyards each have their own reason for being, adding a little something special to every bottle we make. From the sheltered valleys to the sun-drenched hills, each vineyard has a story of its own.
Let’s start close to home, at the Johnson Vineyard, next to our winery in the Waihopai Valley. Named after our founding family who still run Spy Valley today, this vineyard’s lower riverside terraces complement the deeper topsoils, higher clay content and underlying river gravels of the older, higher terraces. Although seemingly flat, three distinct terraces exist within the vineyard. The top terrace closest to Waihopai Valley Road has heavier clay soils well suited to Pinot Noir. The aromatic vines enjoy stony, free-draining soil, and a short, intense growing season thanks to its continental microclimate – very warm in summer, cool but sunny in winter. Black Knight’s strong climatic difference from day to evening maintains acids and freshness in the wines, while lending enough warmth to develop excellent ripeness and allow earlier harvest dates.
As we move East, we reach the deep gulley of the Omaka Valley. Positioned to gain the greatest benefit of the sun’s warmth, the vines on Outpost Vineyard’s steep, north-facing hill slopes are sheltered from the cooler winds prevailing here.
Outpost’s well drained gravelly clay and windblown loess soils lend a fleshy texture to our Pinot Noir, and structure flavours to our Syrah.
Area H Vineyard
Finally, we reach the river flood plain of Area H. What the Outpost Vineyard offers from clay, Area H yields from these fertile deep river silts over gravel alluvium.
Here, a fresh, green style of Sauvignon Blanc thrives, enjoying the longer, slower growing season provided by its proximity to the ocean and the summer sea breeze. Area H’s fine alluvium seams deep below the ground are the hidden key to producing some of the world’s most famous Sauvignon Blanc.
So, there you have it. Many of the secrets of Spy Valley’s wines lie in the microclimatic influences they enjoy, and the quality of the land they inhabit.
Go on, take the virtual reality tour, and bring our diverse vineyards to life. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it just that little more now that you have many of our vineyard secrets on board too.