In 1990 Andrew Greenhough and Jenny Wheeler left Auckland to start a new challenge and way of life in the Nelson region, when purchasing a small four hectare block of vines in Hope. The original Hope vineyard actually dated back to 1976, making it one of the older vineyards in the Nelson region.
Andrew and Jenny expanded the Hope vineyard to 11 hectares and much of the original plantings were redeveloped except a valued block of 40 year old Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. Technically this original vineyard lies on the Waimea Plains but in reality the elevated terrace location beneath the Barnicoat Range foothills is geographically different. The climate is less susceptible to frosts and the soils are more clay-rich with loam and river gravels, a combination particularly suited to aromatic Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer as well as contributing significantly to fruit weight and texture in medium to full-bodied Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Further west, Greenhough’s Barraud Vineyard in the Moutere Hills lies on gentle, north facing slopes. Here, shallow sandy loam topsoil overlays a heavier subsoil of weathered clay. The mix of varieties planted here include Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer and Riesling.
At Greenhough the philosophy is to make wines with clear varietal character, expressive of the vineyard sites and their approach to winemaking. Vineyard management is meticulous and labour intensive, reflecting their belief that it is here that wine quality is first established.
Iconic wines from Greenhough include their Sauvignon Blanc where the effort is focused on creating a multi-layered, complex wine. In the vineyard there is specific fruit selection, some of the wine undergoes whole bunch ferments in old oak delivering a textural, complex wine worthy of aging.
The Hope Chardonnay gets an extended 18 months in barrel and has a rich biscuity mid-palate, tropical fruit flavours and an underlying flintiness. A new Chardonnay release to look out for is the Esperance ‘Chablis’ style Chardonnay. This wine was managed differently in the vineyard, by keeping more leaf on the vines, fermenting in tank and only aging in old barrels a stunning mouth-watering wine was produced with flavours of poached pears, spices and exotic fruits.
Discover more: Greenhough Vineyard