At the heart of Te Mata Estate are the Havelock Hills Vineyards - the first legally-protected vineyards in New Zealand.
All Te Mata Estate wines are produced exclusively from our own Hawke’s Bay vineyards. A temperate maritime climate with low rainfall, due to the rain shadow from mountains to the west, ensures Te Mata’s sites makes the most of every vintage.
First planted in 1892, Te Mata has five sites on these free draining, north-facing slopes. Soils to the east are mostly sandy loam over a sandstone base, and towards the west are sandy loam over a thin layer of clay and a silica pan. The distinctive shape of the hills is due to their comparative youth, in geological terms. At the meeting point of two tectonic plates, sandstone has been pushed up then worn away relatively quickly leaving a landscape of steep and gentle slopes, and terraces ideal for grape-growing.
The Havelock Hills Vineyards are renowned for producing wines with great balance, power and elegance. The Awatea, Elston and Coleraine Vineyards (including the Buck family home) are all here, as is our winery, with some grapes travelling only a hundred metres from vine to bottle.
Under vine for over 120 years, and including some of the oldest grape growing sites in New Zealand, the Havelock Hills are protected for their distinct character, special ambience and unique viticultural heritage.