Gladstone Vineyard - Making premium wine, Wairarapa

Welcome to the August 2011 issue of the Gladstone Vineyard Grapevine.











The promised southerly has blasted the country for the past few days.  On Monday the vineyard was a picture with snow all around…  Even driving from Carterton was a challenge.  The Rimutaka Hill Road has been closed since Sunday evening, and on Tuesday morning the road north was closed at Mt Bruce, prompting Shane to remark over coffee that it would be interesting if the aliens arrived now!  We had nowhere to go.  Not the main issue for most people we thought... Check out some more amazing pics of the snow on our facebook page at

But the days are lengthening, there is more heat in the sun, and the daffodils (and blossom) are coming out round the place.  Spring is definitely around the corner (though it’s hard to remember that at this precise moment!).  But there are lots of reasons to visit Gladstone Vineyard and the Wairarapa in the coming months.  In less than four weeks, rugby fever hits New Zealand.  There’s plenty lined up at GV and in the Wairarapa for visitors and locals who want a bit of rugby fever (or just want to get away from it all!).

Back at the business end of the winemaking – in the vineyard, Kyle has used the wet weather to reflect on our biological viticulture.  Confronted at a seminar about four years ago to consider our conventional approach which used high chemical inputs, we took up the challenge and changed direction.  Biological Agriculture is not one product; it is a whole system approach.   It involves soil and vine drenching, cover crops, strategic mowing and more  – all leading to healthy soils and vines, which has brought the vineyard alive both above and below ground.  We are very happy with the positive effects we are seeing both in the vineyard and in the end product – the wines.  Click here to read Kyle’s full report.



Leo Donworth is our cellar door manager. She is passionate about our wines, and has a great knack of working out what wine you really need when you come to visit us! So be prepared to walk away with a 3 pack or more...

We have some great new release wines this spring.  Available for Daffodil Day in September, we have the ever popular Gladstone Vineyard Rosé 2011.  A rosé for grown-ups, this year’s wine is predominantly made from Cabernet Franc grapes.  Pale pink in colour, Gerhard has been influenced by Olivier, our French vintage cellar hand, and has truly made a European style rosé.

I'm excited too about the new release 12,000 Miles wines.  Not always available for tasting at cellar door, (unless you ask very nicely), the Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is a winner.  Read this review from Chris from the Fine Wine Delivery Company:

Crafted with fruit from two specially selected Wairarapa vineyards, this flavoursome effort offers an alternative snap shot of Sauvignon where texture and minerality is the star. Flavours of tropical fruits and white peach are to the fore with zippy citrus tones adding excitement around the edges and culminating in a refreshing dry finish. Enjoy with marinated seafood treats now and through 2013.

We also have the latest releases of the ever popular 12,000 Miles Pinot Gris 2011, and 12,000 Miles Pinot Noir 2010. Special 3 packs of all these wines are available at cellar door.

And don’t forget our two latest gold medal winning wines - the GV Sauvignon Blanc 2010 and the GV Pinot Noir 2009 that both took away gold medals from the Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada.  This is one of the oldest wine competitions in the world and the largest in North America.  Both these wines are now available at cellar door.  Very limited quantities of the GV Sauvignon Blanc is available, so we are keeping the last of the wine for visitors to the winery, and mail order customers only.

And finally, the GV Pinot Gris 2010  is a goodie, and well worth tasting.  It won silver in the Royal Easter show, and it goes from strength to strength! 

Come and try (and buy!) our wines at cellar door, or head to our website to buy online.



Yes, we are getting into the swing of things… With a South African winemaker, a Kiwi viticulturalist, an Ozzie wine consultant, there is plenty of interest and banter round the place.  Not to mention Scots owners (well we did just score a try against Ireland), and a couple of Poms at cellar door and in the café.  There is plenty at stake in the coming weeks!  So we have lots of special activities taking place for visitors and locals during the coming weeks.

The (birch tree) rugby posts are up – and we have started our “longest goal kicking competition” – with special entries for women, over 40’s under 60’s, teenagers, you name it!  We will also be having some special events.  You can try your hand at barrel racing down the vines, and see if you can beat Gerhard’s best time.  There will be a bottle of wine for the fastest time between the 10th September and 10th October. We will also have line out practice down the vines, with a bottle of wine for the longest, straightest throw, caught (without touching the ground)!

If you are not into sporting activities, we have some fun at cellar door…  As well as our new release wines, we will be offering Tri-nations Wine Tasting for $10 / head - try six wines (carefully selected by the GV team), with a white and a red wine from each of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.  Or try our our Celtic Whisky tastings.  Not to be outdone on the winefront, David (in kilt when he is here) is offering whisky tastings, lining up two Scotch against an Irish, and possible Japanese or indian option ($10 / head).

So come and join in - or take a break from - the rugby fever this spring at Gladstone Vineyard.  We will be open as follows:

  • Monday - Sunday (10am-4pm) for:
    • our usual wine tastings, Tri-nations wine tastings, and Celtic Whisky tastings.  Lighthouse Gin (distilled in Greytown) will also be available for tasting.
    • special rugby and vineyard activities for small groups ($10 per head) including: rugby posts and rugby balls for kicking competitions and line-out competitions down the vines
    • platters at the cafe.
  • Lunch at the Gladstone Vineyard Café Thursday to Sunday 11-3pm (bookings recommended).  Watch out for Pete’s special menus with an international flavour.

Gladstone Vineyard merchandise will also be for sale at the vineyard.

There's a lot of other activities happening in the Wairarapa too...  Check out the WairarapaNZ website for details of the Wairarapa Spring Festival .  It kicks off on Daffodil day weekend, with a very special event in Carterton on Saturday 10th September - the Rugby, Haka, Hangi Festival.  A perfect event for overseas visitors in Wellington for the rugby, interested in rugby and local culture.  It’s a chance to play and/or watch local rugby, learn how to do a haka, try some local food and wine, and have dinner that has been cooked in a hangi.  An incredible day, then stay over in the Wairarapa for Daffodil Day before heading into Wellington for the first game at the stadium! Also check out the REAL Festival - celebrating what's happening in New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup.

Then on the weekend of the quarter finals in Wellington Saturday 8th/Sunday 9th October, the unique Wairarapa Vintage Wings and Wine event at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton.  With a fascinating tour of the Vintage Aviator (one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of WWI aircraft) and a four course food and wine matched lunch hosted by some of the Wairarapa regions award winning winemakers, this is an opportunity of a lifetime.  For bookings or more information, visit or email

And go Scotland!  And Georgia of course (they're based in Masterton, and their coach is from Glasgow!)



This weekend is the last few days of Wellington on a Plate.  It's a great value culinary festival, with a two course lunch and glass of wine at the  for only $35.  Check out our Wellington on a Plate Menu here.

Then watch out for

  • Meet the keeper - our special Lighthouse Gin tasting, Saturday 20th August

Sample some locally distilled Lighthouse Gin, find out about the distillation process, talk with Neil about the 'botanicals', get some fantastic cocktail recipes and buy a bottle to take home at special Wellington on a Plate prices. Our chef Peter Icke will be serving a delicious Lighthouse Gin infused lemon posset for dessert.

  • Long Lazy Lunches

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon of top notch food, award winning wine and live music.  Next up:
Sunday 21 August - Hannah McGrail 12.30 - 3.30 pm
Sunday 18 September - Celtic Reunion 12 - 3pm
Bookings recommended - call 06 379 8563 or email us

  • Daffodil day Sun 11th September

Spring traditionally kicks off for us on Daffodil Day. The second Sunday of September every year is when our ever generous neighbours, the Booth family, open up their farm for hundreds of visitors to wander and pick from their field of daffodils, with all proceeds going to local charities. Come over to the Gladstone Vineyard cafe pre- or post- pick for a light lunch, glass of wine or coffee. Tractor rides from the gate are available for young and old . And the steam train is back. The Daffodil Express, an historic steam train will bring visitors from Wellington and Hutt Valley (and back) for the day. Buses will bring visitors out to pick daffodils and give you time to visit the vineyard.




Finally a reminder about our  Gladstone Vineyard Cellar Club.  This is a fantastic way to get a special selection of our wines, at significant saving.  

As a Gladstone Vineyard Cellar Club member, a case of select seasonal Gladstone Vineyard and 12,000 Miles wines will be couriered to you every three months.  Other benefits include discounts at cellar door and at our café, access to pre release and limited edition wines and cellar stock, and exclusive member-only events.

Membership is $250 (incl GST) per delivery, for a minimum of 12 months (or four deliveries).   SIGN UP NOW the current delivery includes gold, silver and bronze winning whites, and pre-release Hannah Rosie ( a very special wine!)

Thanks for your support.  Come and see us soon or join us in the virtual world on facebook or twitter!

Yours aye

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