Our Rabbit Island vineyards are situated on a wide river flat. The soil is made up of gravelly sandy loam, which marks the sites of Maori kumara beds (sweet potato) prior to European settlement in the early 1800’s. The Maori transferred and spread fine gravel and sand over the land to provide suitable soils for their kumara plantings. Scrub was burned to give ash and charcoal which increased soil fertility and gave characteristic topsoil. This fertility is now considerably reduced due to modern farming. The soils are however, very sandy and free draining, and the water table is relatively high ensuring adequate underground water.
Our Brightwater Vineyard is situated 15 km from the coast and is sheltered from the south by the Richmond ranges. The ‘soil’ is a combination of rocks and boulders which is very hard on the farm equipment but vital for holding the warmth of Nelson’s sun.