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Huia Vineyards

Claire & Mike Allan arrived in Marlborough in 1990 and started Huia in 1996. They were completely blown away by the region. It seemed to have the brightest sunshine, the most intensely flavoured wines, be stunningly beautiful and have an endless supply of the freshest produce.

Since they started Huia the vineyards have grown with an ever increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability, organics and bio-dynamics. The further they follow this path, the more evident it is that healthy clean vineyards are great places to live and work and produce more characterful wines. Every year they seem to just get better.

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Meet the Winemaker

Meet the Winemaker

Claire & Mike Allan, Huia Vineyards

Claire & Mike Allan take a natural approach to winemaking. Since starting Huia in 1996 they have become more and more in tune with their environment. Working in harmony with the countryside helps them make their wine. Sheep wander through the vines and chickens roam free. Bees pollinate the wildflowers and provide honey. Olive trees, planted at the vineyard edges, make delicious olive oil.
Claire spent her childhood in North Canterbury in the South Island. Mike started out in the coastal farmlands of Hawkes Bay. After a tenure at Roseworthy in Adelaide, Australia learning the craft of winemaking, and where Mike met Claire, there seemed no contest for where Mike might put down roots in what is arguably New Zealand’s first real home of wine, Marlborough. The call to make his own wine with Claire was too loud to ignore.
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The Vineyard

The home vineyard is situated in Marlborough’s Rapaura district. This premium site consists of free draining alluvial silts and undulating stony nature, close to the Wairau River and is well in the lee of the Richmond Range.

The Geography

The Wairau plains were formed originally by glacial action. The ranges which define the valley and contain the course of the Wairau River, lead to a diverse range of soils. As a rule of thumb the vineyards close to the river have a large level of stones and alluvials silts. Through the centre of the valley and towards the Wither Hills the soils become richer and as you approach the slopes of the hills there is a higher proportion of clay.

The Climate

Marlborough is on the east coast at 41.5 ° latitude. Average monthly temperature ranges from 7° C in winter to 18° C in summer. Winter nights often drop below freezing, with the maximum about –5° C. Usually after a frost, the day will be clear and sunny. Summers are characterised by many days upwards of 30°C. Summer nights are cool and responsible for the low average monthly temperatures and for the intensity of fruit flavours due to the slow ripening. This creates a large diurnal temperature which is very beneficial for grape growing. The average rainfall is around 650mm per year evenly spread through the year.

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