Akarua Cairnmuir Road Vineyard
The highest elevation in the vineyard with expansive views over Bannockburn and Lake Dunstan below. Sparse soil volume and nutrient levels that require empathetic vineyard management but rewards with fruit that is destined for the Akarua Pinot Noir.
As well as Pinot Noir, this block has old sluicing pipe remnants of the 1880's gold mining era scattered about the site. The northern end of this vineyard is quite exposed to hot drying winds whilst the southern end is sheltered and vines are more vigorous.
Planted in 100% pinot noir comprising of four different clones. Grapes from this block are regarded as the most 'balanced' in the entire vineyard and are usually destined for Akarua Reserve Pinot Noir.
The largest block within the vineyard and some of the most mature vines. Planted with Pinot Noir. Named after the biggest river in the region, affectionately referred to as "The Mighty Clutha".
Named after founder, Sir Clifford Skeggs, this is the smallest vineyard on the site and located closest to the actual winery. A warm site that is usually the first block to be picked.
7 hectare site, boarding Cairnmuir Road, which is planted with Pinot Noir with a soil base of about 800mm of sandy silt on deep, fine, alluvial gravel.
Bordering Cairnmuir Road and one of the flattest blocks on the entire vineyard site. 100% planted in clone 114 Pinot Noir and responsible for some of the delicious upfront berry flavours in the Akarua Pinot Rosé and Pinot Noir.
Situated on the lower terrace of the vineyard and one of the cooler blocks. Planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Sandy well draining soils are well suited to the low vigor root stock.
One of Akarua's most important blocks and named after the great river that borders Bannockburn, the Kawarau. Consistently some of the winemaker's favourite fruit and the pinot noir is usually destined for the Reserve Pinot Noir.
The only Riesling block on the entire property and also on the warmest and most exposed ridge. 2010 Akarua Riesling is the inaugural release.
Akarua Cairnmuir Road Vineyard
The 50 hectare vineyard consists of three main sub areas.
- The lower portion, or flats that are closest to Cairnmuir Road, of 11.5 hectare with a soil base of about 800mm of sandy silt on deep, fine, alluvial gravel.
- The main terrace is a 25.5 hectare glacial terrace of finely fractured rock and gravel, overlaid by 300-400mm of very fine 'wind deposited silt'.
- The 13 hectare sloping hillside blocks, with names that all end in 'view', have the same layer of the 'wind deposited silt', this time over fractured schist and rock, which was the parent material of the main terrace.
Vines, which are mostly trained using the Vertical Shoot Positioning system, are planted at 2,500 to 3,000 per hectare. Soil moisture is monitored weekly to make sure that the vines are not water-stressed and to ensure that water is never wasted.
All three areas have excellent drainage and enough soil to maintain grapevines with a modest crop load to produce clean, concentrated grapes typical to their variety.
View the Cairnmuir Vineyard Blocks overview »