The Home Vineyard is located 6 kilometres north east of the Waipara Junction, in the Omihi sub-district of Waipara Valley, North Canterbury. The slope is a north facing sedimentary clay fan on a gentle hill side slope. The soils are mainly Awapuni clay loam with calcium carbonate deposits.

The vineyard was planted by the late Russell and Kimiko Black. The Pinot Noir was planted in a 3.8 ha block. Un-grafted predominantly 10-5 clone and were planted in 1994 at a vine density of 1841 vines per hectare. The vineyard was irrigated once in 1998.

The Chardonnay grows in the adjacent 3.8ha block. Un-grafted Mendoza Chardonnay vines were planted in 1994 at a vine density of 1841 vines per hectare.

Organic and Biodynamic practices have been used since 2010. Certified with BioGro.


Damsteep Vineyard (formally Spye) is located in the north east of Waipara Valley at the foot of the Omihi Saddle, 10km north of our Home Vineyard. Riesling and Pinot Noir grow here with vine density of more than 5000 vine per hectare.

Pinot Noir is grown on a 5 hectare north east facing slope, with an altitude between 140 to 180 meters above sea level. The vines here were planted in 1999 and grow on clay overlying fractured limestone and sandstone soils.
The Riesling vineyard is 2.2 ha and lies on a north facing slope below the pinot noir. The soil is in very dense brown/ orange clay and inter bedded with sandstones and subordinate limestone horizons.

Organic and Biodynamic practices have been used since 2010. Certified with BioGro.


Planted by Russell Black and Daniel Schuster in 1986 at a vine density of 5000 vines per hectare. Netherwood’s soils are classified as Waipara Greensand which is a green grey richly glauconitic sandstone.

Pinot Noir cuttings were planted here on their own roots and established and farmed without irrigation. The Chardonnay block is 0.8 hectares and was planted in 1986 on a south facing hillside. The vines are mass selection and thought to be cuttings of Mendoza Chardonnay. The vine density should be 5000 vines per hectare but half of them are Pinot Noir so it is hard to tell.

Organic and Biodynamic practices have been used since 2012. Certified with BioGro.


Estate is a
for wine.

3 organic hillside vineyards on clay limestone soils in North Canterbury.

Cellar Door
& Restaurant

614 Omihi Road
Waipara Valley
New Zealand
+64 3 314 6085
or email

10am. - 5pm Wed - Sunday

Circuit Chardonnay 2016

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Bursting with hazelnut, citrus and hints of toast ….North Canterbury has real talent for producing chardonnay that shows sensational minerality and combine that with a skilled winemaker who can create creamy, nutty notes in the palate spectrum.

Yvonne Lorkin , Dish Magazine

Quite an impact from ripe stone fruit and oak with a significant undercurrant of minerality; a dry wine with a ripe core of fruit… plenty of texture and mouth feel; lengthy finsh. Very nice wine!

93 Points

Cameron Douglas , MS

Beautifully expressed, the inviting bouquet shows ripe stone fruit, mango, lemon pith and oatmeal characters with a hint of vanilla complexity. The palate is succulent and rounded, and displays excellent mid palate weight and texture, wonderfully framed by bright acidity. Delightfully attractive and elegantly complex. At its best: now to 2019.  4.5

Wine Orbit

A spring straw, light green hue. Aromas of grapefruit, apricot, lemon zest, hazelnut and subtle struck match. The pallet has a fine river stone minerality that carries flavours of blood orange, brioche, nectarine and sandalwood. A fresh, complex, and invigorating example of North Canterbury Chardonnay from Glasnevin gravel soils.  Drink now to 2022. 


The 2016 Circuit Chardonnay was sourced from a 15 year old vineyard on Glasnevin gravels in the centre of Waipara Valley on MacKenzies Road. The Glasnevin gravels are free draining mineral rich soils that impart pure fruit flavours and a bright invigorating acidity to the fruit grown here. 


A dry mild winter meant a continuation of the drought in the North Canterbury region. Late spring frosts in North Canterbury lowered yields in some vineyards and added to the stress on the vines as canopies were established. Un-seasonally heavy rainfall in January provided some reprieve from the drought and the vines around the valley sprung to life pushing young shoot tips and completing canopy establishment. Dry conditions returned and continued into late autumn allowing gradual and even ripening of fruit with very little disease pressure. Despite the early season challenges vintage 2016 ended with balanced, ripe, and disease free fruit making harvest a deserved celebration of another unique harvest.  


Hand harvested on April 9 and 11 2016

Harvest 12.1 TonYield = 1.90 kg/vine

Brix-23.4TA 7.2-g/ LMA 2.0g/LpH 3.35


All fruit was hand sorted and whole bunch pressed over 4 hours after which the juice was transferred with full solids (no settling) to 1300L stainless steel tanks (50%), new French 228L barrel (25%) or old 228L barrels (25%).  A 15% parcel was foot crushed and skin soaked for 8 hours before pressing to gain more colplexity from the skins and allow fermentation with very cloudy juice. All parcels were fermented using vineyard derived yeast and then aged on lees without sulphur for four months. The wines were then blended to tank just prior to bottling, filtered, and then bottled as one.


715 (12 x 750ml) cases bottled in one lot under screw cap on September 21 2016.

R.S 5.5 g/L      TA 4.8 g/L       pH 3.75       Dry extract 24.6g/L     Alcohol 13.0%


Download tasting notes

2016 Season report