Spencer Hill Estate
Spencer Hill specializes in Chardonnay and oak aged Sauvignon Blanc. It is our passion and the wine’s that we all prefer.
We love all styles of Chardonnay from big and buttery to elegant and refined….also enjoying pushing the line to wild and a bit funky. No style is wrong if you love Chardonnay. For the first 12 years we chose to submit our wines to competition so that we could firmly state our Chardonnays were among the best in the world. We made our point and today continue with what we started making the best Chardonnays we possibly can.
Our other passion is oak aged Sauvignon Blanc, distinctively New Zealand in style, but with a wonderful point of difference. From the delicate style of Pouilly Fume to the full on style of California Fume….we love them all. This was one of the reasons for establishing our vineyards and winery in the Upper Moutere district of Nelson. The dry farmed vineyards, rolling hills with clay loam soil, and warm summers are perfect to give gooseberry and other ripe flavours to our Sauvignon grapes. Our Sauvignon Blanc’s have always been made this way and have surprised many.
The Spencer Hill Group owns vineyards located in the Upper Moutere Hills and along the Coastal Ridge area of Tasman Bay near Nelson.
Upper Moutere vineyards
The Upper Moutere vineyards consist of seventy-five acres located on two blocks. They are planted to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Pinot Noir. The clay loam composition of the Upper Moutere soils provides the grapes with depth and concentration of flavours not found on lighter soils. These soils also retain moisture and it allows us to grow the grapes without supplemental irrigation. Although the soils are deep they are not extremely fertile. The oldest grapes in the Upper Moutere vineyards were planted in 1990.
The vineyards are located behind the coastal hills about three kilometers from Tasman Bay. This unique situation of hills close to the sea provides a temperate climate with a long growing season. Winter is mild with early morning frosts but no snow.
Coastal Ridge vineyards
The Coastal Ridge vineyards were established in 1994 with additional planting in 2001. They are located a few kilometers north of Nelson and consist of approximately 12 acres. These four blocks are planted in Chardonnay, Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Noir. They are also located on heavy soils but differ from the Moutere in that the subsoil consists of broken rock. These soils also provide depth and concentration but result in slightly different flavours than the Moutere grapes. This vineyard is located on the hills facing Tasman Bay and can be subject to many changes in weather associated to large bodies of water. The Coastal Ridge vineyards have a longer growing season than the Moutere with bud burst about two-three weeks earlier and leaf fall three weeks later.
Many persons are confused how grapes can be grown in the relatively cool climate of New Zealand. The secrete lies in its long growing season and high solar intensity. The cooler temperatures help retain the delicious fruit flavours and the long growing season and high sunlight ripen the fruit perfectly.
- Spencer Hill Coastal Ridge Chardonnay 2001 (trophy) (Liquorland Top 100 2002, Top 100)