Hitchen Road Vineyard
Hitchen Road Vineyard is a 5 acre vineyard on very favourable north facing slopes above the Pokeno Village, just south of the Bombay Hills. It is part of a 100 acre pastoral farm and has a beautiful view over the North Waikato.
All the wines are hand crafted here from grapes that are grown on the property. The only process that takes place off site is bottling.
Hitchen Road Vineyard was established in 1994 by Ken and Patricia Graham to provide Ken, a cardiac surgeon, with a passionate interest for "life after surgery".
Initially, all the viticulture work and wine making were done under contract. We had various ups and downs, largely due to the supply of virused plant material.
In 2002, Ken semi-retired. We rethought the whole project and with the aid of a chain saw and good clean grafted plants, started again. The varieties we chose to plant were Pinotage, Malbec, Dolcetto and Chardonnay. Our next venture was to plant Montepulciano.
We are now at the stage where we hope to have small commercial crops of Montepulcano and Sangiovese. Biking through and visiting Italian Vineyards has meant our love affair with Italian varities has continued to grow. I think we must have brought back a bit of Italian sunshine as these traditionally late ripening grapes ripen well for us. Perhaps it is just that Pokeno is the Italy of the South? We have now removed the Malbec (even though it got Silver Medals) and replaced it with Sangiovese.