Inspired by the tremendous potential to make great wine in the Awatere Valley, The Crossings now has three distinct vineyard sites along the northern bank of the Awatere River. This gives us the opportunity to make the most of the varied soil types and other terroir variations across the region, bringing you wine with a distinct edge.
This stunning vineyard lies deep in the valley on a promontory bordered on three sides by the Awatere River. Medway Vineyard lies more than 26km (16 miles) from the coast, surrounded by steep mountains. The extreme diurnal temperature and distinctive soils create unique flavours in wines grown on Medway Vineyard, characterised by flinty and mineral undertones. Medway Vineyard is planted in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir.
This vineyard lies on seven terraces, 14km from the coast, on the original site where pioneering travellers crossed the Awatere River. The vine rows on Willow Flat Vineyard have been planted to correlate with the soil strata to ensure that the fruit ripens evenly. The structure of the low-vigour soil, coupled with reduced coastal influences, creates sweeter fruit here than on our other two vineyards. Most of Willow Flat Vineyard is planted in Sauvignon Blanc, with selected terraces used for a variety of Pinot Noir clones.
This vineyard is situated near the mouth of the valley, just 5km (3 miles) from the sea. The unique soil structure, coupled with a slight coastal influence creates rich, lush, fruit bursting with ripe fruit flavours and balanced acid. The multi-terraced Brackenfield Vineyard is planted mostly in Sauvignon Blanc, with a small amount of Pinot Noir.
Range of terroir factors
Each of our three vineyards offers its own unique soil and climatic factors. Overlaid with skilful management to bring out the best of each site, this creates a rich choice of flavours for our winemakers to work with.
The key terroir factors that influence the flavour of The Crossings wines are:
- The different soil types within each vineyard and between the vineyards.
- The unique meso-climate of each site. This is mainly shaped by the local geography and the distance from the coast, which influences the diurnal temperature fluctuation.
- Vineyard design. This includes the choice of rootstock and clones, the trellis design, as well as the row and vine spacings. Closer spacing gives a higher vine density, meaning that each vine carries a smaller amount of fruit and is therefore able to ripen it more fully.
- Vineyard management. Our vineyard team makes sure the vines are appropriately pruned, trained, crop-regulated, watered, fed, protected, leaf-plucked and trimmed to deliver the best quality fruit.
- Close monitoring of the grape ripening and the timing of the harvest are critical to optimise the potential of the fruit. Leading up to harvest, our viticulture and winemaking team monitors the fruit daily so we can pick our grapes at the best possible moment.