Chard Farm operates eight company vineyards in the Gibbston Valley and Lowburn/Parkburn subregions of Central Otago. Each of the vineyards is unique and provides distinctive and premium fruit.
Central Otago offers an ideal environment for viticulture. The only location in New Zealand that experiences a continental climate; the harsh winters and very low rainfall keep pests and diseases to a minimum, the very warm summers enable good canopy development and long autumns have warm days and cool nights which enable slow and complex phenolic and flavour development during the ripening period.
All of Chard Farms vineyards are accredited under Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand and are managed in a way sympathetic to each vineyards unique terrior. What all the vineyards do share is careful and focussed hands-on management techniques.
Home Block - Gibbston
Situated on Chard Road, Gibbston, the Home block is the original vineyard site and is also the home of the Winery and Cellar Door. At the time the first vines were planted in 1987, viticulture in Central Otago was in its infancy and a wide range of varieties were planted. As our knowledge and experience has grown we have been able to identify both varieties and clones that suit this site. While some original plantings still exist, over the last few years extensive redevelopment has been under way replanting the site, not only into more suitable varieties but also onto phylloxera resistant rootstocks.
- First Plantings: 1987.
- Area Planted: 11.6 hectares.
- Varieties: Pinot noir, Pinot gris.
- Planting Density: 2500-3400 vines/hectare.
- Soil types: Stony silt loams with schist and alluvium parent materials.
The Tiger vineyard - Lowburn
Located on Lowburn Valley Road overlooking the Lowburn Inlet and Lake Dunstan, the Tiger block is the home of the Tiger Pinot noir and Judge and Jury Chardonnay. An ultra premium block, the easterly slopes capture the sun and the purity of flavours essential to Central Otago wine.
- First Plantings: 1999.
- Area Planted: 12.4 hectares.
- Varieties: Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay.
- Planting Density: 2500-3600 vines/hectare.
- Soil types: Ripponvale sandy loam, Lochar sandy shallow loam and sandy loam over greywacke, quartz and schist gravels.
The Viper Vineyard - Parkburn
The Viper vineyard is so named due to the large amount of the Central Otago wild flower - Vipers Bugloss, covering the site when originally planted. This vineyard is our most complex; with eleven hectares divided into nine different vineyard blocks and five different aspects. Because of this, ripening is spread between the vineyard blocks by up to ten days and greater complexity and blending options are achieved. Higher in altitude and relatively more exposed than the other Lowburn vineyards, this vineyard site lends itself towards more challenges which are rewarded with ultra premium fruit selection.
- First Plantings: 2001.
- Area Planted: 11 hectares.
- Varieties: Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Riesling.
- Planting Density: 4000 vines/hectare.
- Soil types: Ardgour and Lochar gravels.
Sinclair Block - Parkburn
A small block on the Lowburn-Wanaka Highway, the Sinclair block is currently the site of our organic trial.
- First Plantings: 1998.
- Area Planted: 3.8 hectares.
- Varieties: Pinot noir, Pinot gris.
- Planting Density: 3000 vines/hectare.
- Soil types: Waenga fine sandy loam and Molyneux stony sands.
Cook Block - Parkburn
Another smaller block, this vineyard is also located on the Lowburn-Wanaka Highway. Planted solely in Dijon clones, the site is located on an ancient alluvial fan from the Lochar stream.
- First Plantings: 2002.
- Area Planted: 5.05 hectares.
- Varieties: Pinot noir.
- Planting Density: 3600 vines/hectare.
- Soil type: Lochar shallow sandy loam.