Winemaking & Viticulture

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Our approach to vineyard selection is simple. We work closely with growers we know and trust, who manage all parameters of the sites expertly - and clearly understand what Radburnd Cellars is aiming to achieve.

We’ve carefully selected vineyards around Hawke’s Bay that are perfect for the wines we make, in the style we love. All vineyards we source fruit from are either Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand accredited or organic.

The Mangatahi vineyard site is inland, moderately elevated and stunningly attractive. We source fruit from aged Mendoza Chardonnay vines from this site which has free draining shingle plains sloping gently to the flinty Ngaruroro River. The 30-year-old vines consistently produce outstanding Chardonnay with wonderful fruit intensity, balanced with beautiful fresh acidity.

Soils in the Bridge Pa Triangle are based on free draining red metal gravels overlaid by alluvium. We source old vine Chardonnay and old vine Merlot and Syrah from this special site. The reds are very distinct with outstanding texture and concentrated darker fruit characters, providing excellent blending options.

Our Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are sourced from Gimblett Gravels sites which are free draining and very low in fertility, resulting in struggling vines producing fruit of great concentration. Protected by Roys Hill, these vineyard sites are real “hot spots” and perfectly suit these grape varieties, creating structured wines that age well.

Beautiful and sheltered, the Dartmoor Valley site is inland and elevated with natural terraces. The vineyard has sandy loam over gravel soils, left behind as the Tutaekuri River eroded its path to the sea. From here, we source Syrah and Chardonnay, both with vibrant fruit characters and fresh acidity – perfect hallmarks of these wines.

“There’s nothing like the first day of harvest. I just love seeing the fruit on the vine and I know for the next 6-8 weeks this is what we’re focusing on, and I just can’t wait to get into it.”

We’re hands on through all stages of the production process from tasting and testing the fruit in the vineyard for optimal flavour and ripeness, through to monitoring each barrel until it is ready to bottle. It’s intensive, focused and absolutely worth it.

When the hand harvested fruit comes into the winery after being cooled overnight, it is treated with great care. We hand sort every bunch so that we are left with the best fruit. Our Chardonnay is whole bunch pressed and put into barrels for fermentation. The reds are destemmed and whole berries are gently stomped by foot in open fermenters.

Each parcel of fruit is kept separate and closely monitored as it goes through the fermentation process. All our wines are aged in French oak barrels, carefully selected for its characteristics and complexity, and from highly respected cooperages that we work closely with.

We embrace vintage variation and there is a sense of excitement in knowing that no two vintages are the same. Our wines celebrate our cool climate viticulture and genuinely expresses each growing season.

The result is small parcels of handmade wine made in an elegant and restrained style with a perfect balance of fruit, structured acidity and oak finesse enabling the wines to evolve and improve with cellaring.