Located in the northeastern corner of New Zealand’s North Island, the eastern Gisborne Region is remote and dramatic.
Home to expansive fertile plains framed by forested hills on one side, and 200km of coastline on the other the province has an abundance of natural resources.
Famous for surfing, seafood and sun, Gisborne produces wonderfully ripe and flavour-filled wines and is unofficially named the ‘Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand’.
Gisborne's climate is characterised by warm summers and mild winters. The region is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand, with average yearly sunshine of around 2,200 hours. Temperatures of 38°C have been recorded and an average 65 days a year reach a maximum of over 24°C. Annual rainfall varies from about 1,000mm near the coast to over 2,500mm in the higher inland country.
Grape varietals that grow successfully in Gisborne need plenty of sunshine and ripen early on in the autumn period. Chardonnay is the most dominant variety, making up the majority of Villa Maria Estate plantings. We also produce excellent aromatic Arneis and Gewürztraminer wines using Gisborne grapes.