New Zealand Vineyard
Wind machine for spring frost protection
Photo Credit: Neil Chilton, Gibbston NZ

The vineyard is located in the Gibbston Valley (the “Valley of Vines”), about 10 miles from Queenstown (Central Otago’s largest town) on New Zealand’s south island.  There are about 200 acres of grapes planted in the valley and 6-8 Gibbston wineries.

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Sims Vineyard, New Zealand

We planted our 5 acre vineyard in 2002.  Total land area is 25 acres but only five acres were suitable for vineyard.  The property slopes towards, and borders, the Kawarau River gorge. 

Late spring frosts can significantly reduce crop yields and are one of the biggest problems in achieving success with the vineyard.  

Damage from birds is also a problem and requires bird netting the vineyard each year about 6 weeks before harvest.  It’s expensive to do this but absolutely necessary.  Without the netting several species of birds would decimate the crop

Bird netting   New Zealand Vineyards

The vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir clones 114 and 115. Rootstocks are mainly 101-14, 3309 and RG.

The annual crop yield is targeted at 1½ - 2 tons/acre to achieve more concentrated aromas and flavors.