History

Gladstone Vineyard's History

The Wairarapa is home to the first plantings of Pinot Noir in New Zealand, which dates back to the 1880s. Planted by William and Hermance Beetham, an English and French couple, who identified the environmental conditions and landscape as those similar to Burgundy gives good reason for our region to claim status as one of the world’s finest Pinot Noir producing areas. 


Gladstone Vineyard, planted in 1986, is located in Gladstone; the central sub-region of the Wairarapa valley. Our vineyards are planted along the river terraces of the Rhumahunga River, which has a unique free-draining soil profile of clay over stony silt loams. The microclimatic conditions of our vineyards are semi-maritime, which experiences very cool springs, extended sunshine hours and high exposure to UV light, which provides ideal conditions for the ripening of our premium wine grapes. 


The original owners of Gladstone Vineyard first started the vineyard as a hobby farm with a mere 2.7 hectares of vines planted to Sauvignon Blanc. In 1996, the property was then sold to the Kernohan family who tirelessly spent the next two decades crafting the wines whilst implementing sustainable vineyard practices to ensure premium grapes were yielded off the Home Block. In the early 2000s as the rigorous investment of time and resources started to reap rewards, the Kernohans commenced their expansion plans to satisfy the growing demand for Gladstone Vineyard wines by increasing the vineyard holdings of Pinot Noir and building a new winery. 


In 2018, Eddie McDougall and a consortium under The Flying Winemaker acquired Gladstone Vineyard from the retiring Kernohans with the view to write the next exciting chapter of this prestigious wine estate. Under Eddie’s helm, Gladstone Vineyard now manages and collaborates with several premium vineyards and growers across the Wairarapa and Hawkes’ Bay; diversifying the estate’s portfolio of wines. In light of the expanding vineyard footprint, Gladstone Vineyard’s core vision remains to be the number one producer of Pinot Noir in New Zealand. 

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