The New Zealand
winery in Hastings in the Hawke's Bay
area (on the east coast of North Island) was founded in 1994, the first wine was produced in 1996. The owner triumvirate consists of the well-known winemaker John Hancock (former cellarmaster of Morton Estate
), Robert and Robyn Wilson, and Trevor and Hannes Janes. The company's own 40 hectares of vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels area are planted with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Montepulciano, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Tempranillo, Montepulciano and Viognier. From another 40 hectares, grapes are purchased from contract winegrowers, these are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. The top wines are marketed under the Gimblett Road label, with particular emphasis on Chardonnay (which has already been awarded the world's best Chardonnay twice), Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Merlot and Syrah. A second somewhat simpler wine line is produced under the Shepperds Croft label.