The New Zealand
Winery in Hastings in the area Hawke's Bay
(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 butler of Morton Estate
), Robert and Robyn Wilson, as well as Trevor and Hannes Janes. The 40 hectares of Gimblett Gravel vineyards are planted with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Montepulciano, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Tempranillo, Montepulciano and Viognier. From another 40 hectares of contract growers grapes are purchased, these are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. The top wines are marketed under the label Gimblett Road, to highlight are Chardonnay (which has twice been awarded as the world's best Chardonnay), Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Merlot and Syrah. A second slightly simpler wine line is produced under the label Shepperds Croft.