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Red Wine, Gisborne

The Gisborne wine region is the first wine region in the world to see the new day's sun and was the first place Captain Cook hopped ashore as the first European to arrive in New Zealand. Located on the most easterly point of the north island, at the northern end of Poverty Bay, Gisborne gets a lot of sunlight hours when compared to other New Zealand wine growing regions.

The regions receives good shelter from the mountains in the west, though is still exposed to cyclones that can have a significant impact on the yield and quality of certain vintages. The soils in Gisborne are predominantly alluvial loams on sandy or volcanic subsoils, suiting the key varieties that grow there.

Chardonnay is the main grape variety for the region although other white varieties like Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, and Riesling are lesser quantities of Viogner are produced. The reds have not been as successful in Gisborne as the whites, though small amounts are grown.

The region is home to only a handful of wineries, less than two dozen in total. Instead, the majority of vineyards are in holdings of large wine companies based elsewhere. The almost-perfectly-flat Gisborne plain is the site for most vineyards, however in more recent times, the gently sloping land in outlying areas of Gisborne has also been planted to vine.
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