Awatere ValleyThe Awater Valley
The Awatere Valley Wine Region
The Awatere Valley is one of three sub-regions of the renowned Marlborough winegrowing area, which makes up around 30 per cent of the area. Situated southeast of the other major cultivation areas of the area, the Wairau Valley (45 per cent of the plantations) and the southern valley area ('25 per cent') that surrounds the small municipality of Seddon.
A speciality of the area are herbal whites from Sauvignon Blancs. Also Pinot Noir and Riesling Pinot Gris and Chardonnay have found a home in the vines of the Awatere Valley. The Awatere Valley lies on the seaside of Marlborough, in a valley that runs alongside the eastern south isle.
Named after the Awatere River, which runs southwards of Clifford Bay, awatere means "fast moving river" in the Maori vernacular. Awatere is separated from the Wairau Valley by the Wither Mountains to the north. Situated on a multitude of hilly and terraced riversides in the craggy, hilly area.
In Awatere, these arid, freely dehydrating soil is one of the most important characteristics of the terroirs because it pollutes the grape. It is strongly affected by the oceans, which form the north and east borders of the area. Intensive sunshine during the course of the afternoon is chilled by the sea breezes and contributes to the daily change in temperatures that prolongs the vegetation period in the Awatere valley, with crops usually harvested a few after the Wairau valley.
Wairau Valley's great wine production potentials came a decade after the first Marlborough grapes were sown. The first pioneers, Vavasour Wines, began building vine yards on the more demanding terroirs of Awatere in the latter eighties. Most of the growth took place in the end of the 1990', when appropriate areas in the Wairau Valley became scarcer.
Today the valley is home to an important vineyard and is home to some of the most renowned Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. Its pronounced mineral character of Awatere Sauvignon Blanc has inevitably been compared to the renowned Loire Valley whites of Sancerre.