Esk Valley Estate

About

We're a boutique producer of premium quality New Zealand wine. Our unique wines are crafted using traditional methods and local knowledge to bring out the best of every vintage.

Location Description

Situated in the north of New Zealand’s picturesque Hawkes Bay.

Features

  • Premium hand-crafted New Zealand wines.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Winemaker

GORDON RUSSELL, SENIOR WINEMAKER

Gordon Russell has established himself as one of New Zealand's most recognised winemaking identities with his passionate approach to winemaking, and the enormous success he has achieved with his wines in tastings and competitions.

Gordon was born in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Following University, Gordon's desire to travel took him to England and Europe for three years.

Gordon had always been interested in different flavours and trying new foods, and during his time abroad he also developed an appreciation for fine wine.

In 1986 Gordon returned to New Zealand, just when the wine styles for which New Zealand has become highly regarded were beginning to emerge.

Gordon was appointed as Esk Valley winemaker in 1993, after working for Villa Maria in Auckland as a cellar hand from 1987 and then as assistant winemaker to Grant Edmonds at Esk Valley from 1990.

Gordon believes that the concept of 'texture' in a wine is as important as the aromas and flavours of the wine. By 'texture' he means the balance and harmony of the wine, together with complexity and palate interest.

He aims to produce premium hand-crafted wines that are both elegant and sophisticated, and which truly reflect the character of the individual vineyards.

PIERRE SIMONET, ASSISTANT WINEMAKER

Pierre began work at Esk Valley as a Cellar hand in February 2012 and was seconded to the Assistant Winemaker position in February 2014.

“I am originally from the Basque Country (south west of France, close to the Spanish border) and grew up with strong tannic red wines which we enjoyed with amazing local food.

I love wine in all its aspects, the soil, the climate, the technique and believe that the people and the culture that surround it and the way it is enjoyed are a fundamental part of the wine experience.

This is why I have travelled after my winemaking and viticulture study in the Medoc, north of Bordeaux. As well as working in France (mainly around Bordeaux and in the Languedoc region), I have also worked in wineries in Chile, Argentina, Australia and Hawke’s Bay.

I fell in love with New Zealand and came back to settle here in 2012. That was my first vintage at Esk Valley and I never left. I felt straight away at home here, working in a historic building, with a small dedicated team. For me Esk Valley is the right mix between old world winemaking and new world techniques. I am glad to be part of it!”

History

Bird constructed the Glenvale winery and cellars in 1933, including the concrete fermentation vats that are still used to this day.

Fortified wines were the mainstay of Glenvale's production until the late 1970's when the Esk Valley brand was created, for a range of premium table wines.

Over-production in the New Zealand wine industry in the early 1980's led to devastating price wars. Amongst the casualties of this era was Glenvale, which went into receivership and was subsequently purchased by George Fistonich, founder of Villa Maria Estate.

Over the last twenty or so years, the Esk Valley winery has seen a few changes – most obviously in the quality of the wines made here.

Stainless steel fermentation tanks have been introduced to complement the original concrete vats, which have proved ideal for fermenting Esk Valley’s award-winning Winemakers Reserve and The Terraces wines.

Today, Esk Valley Estate is run as an independent Hawkes Bay winery, with its own vineyards and winemaking team.

The Team

STEVE SYKES - CELLAR MANAGER

Cellar Manager, Steve Sykes has been here for twenty years.

"The first year I was here we re-established The Terraces vineyard.

It was a huge job digging out the pine and preparing the ground, planting the vines and nurturing them through to the first vintage. But that first vintage just shone out above all else, it won awards and we realized what we had here.

We’re a close-knit team, the roles are fairly intertwined. There’s no big hierarchy, we sit around and brainstorm ideas, we muck in together and we get things done.

We believe in taking a holistic approach, especially in the way we train new people coming through. We rotate jobs, so everyone gets the big picture, and they go away from here with a lot of different skills".

AMANDA MOORE - LABORATORY & QUALITY ASSURANCE TECHNICIAN

‘I startedworking in the lab at Esk Valley late in 2006. I came from a Chemistry background not knowing a lot about the winemaking process and have learnt everything on the job. I love the challenges it has brought and the new skills I have had to learn especially around the management of our Quality Systems.

In 2014 I was on maternity leave and really missed what was going on at Esk, especially during vintage, wondering what the grapes where like? How the ferments were going? And of course whether we would be bottling another vintage “The Terraces”.

I even missed the daily quiz at smoko. Its great coming back to a dedicated team and I can’t wait to see what the next vintage will bring’.

SUE CRANSWICK – CELLAR DOOR MANAGER

Cellar Door Manager, Sue Cranswick, has been part of the Esk Valley team since 1991.

“When I first started here over twenty years ago, I didn’t really know a great deal about wine. I was a farm girl and I can tell you that most of the farmers around here took a lot of convincing that you could even grow grapes here!

These days people visiting the Estate know quite a bit about wine and it’s great that they’re more concerned with quality, and less concerned with price.

I still get a kick out of changing people’s pre-conceived ideas though. I love it when they tell me, ‘Oh I definitely don’t like such-and-such a variety’, then they end up walking out the door with a case of it!”

Awards

EASTER SHOW WINE AWARDS 2013 (NZ)

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: Gold

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Gold

Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2012: Silver

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2012: Silver

AIR NEW ZEALAND WINE AWARDS 2012

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Trophy (Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend) & Elite Gold

Esk Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011: Pure Gold

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011: Pure Silver

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Merlot Malbec Rosé 2012: Pure Silver

NZ PINOT NOIR TASTING - CUISINE MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2012 (NZ)

Esk Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011: 5 Stars & Best Buy

HAWKES BAY A&P MERCEDES-BENZ WINE AWARDS 2012 (NZ)

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010: Champion of Champions Trophy, Champion Syrah Trophy & Gold

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Gold

Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec 2010: Silver

SPIEGELAU INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION 2012 (NZ)

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Verdelho 2011: Silver

NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL WINE SHOW 2012

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: Gold

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010: Gold

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2011: Silver

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Merlot Malbec Rosé 2012: Silver

Esk Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011: Silver

Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2011: Silver

Esk Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012: Silver

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Verdelho 2011: Silver

NEW WORLD WINE AWARDS 2012 (NZ)

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011: Silver

BRAGATO WINE AWARDS 2012 (NZ)

Esk Valley Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011: Champion Riesling Trophy & Pure Gold

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2010: Pure Gold

SOMMELIER WINE AWARDS 2012 (UK)

Esk Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011: Gold

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Hours

Wed: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Thu-Sat: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Sun: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Address

Main Road, Bay View
Napier, Southland 4149
New Zealand

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