The founders of the vineyard, had worked in Tuscany for many years prior to establishing their own estate in Hawke's Bay. For them it was only a question of where to start up in New Zealand. They were keen to find an area with "poor soil" that is found in the best wine growing regions in the world.
They were one of the first to risk their entire livelihood in this area of "poor soil". They decided to establish themselves in the as yet "undesignated" area of what today is known as the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District in Hawke's Bay.
Hawke's Bay was already a leading winegrowing district in New Zealand, but the 800 hectares pocket of this particular free-draining gravel soil (Gimblett Gravels) was still largely unused wasteland. Recognising the great potential of the favourable combination of climate and site for the production of super-premium red wines, they decided to establish Unison Vineyard in this location.
Importantly: Hawke's Bay and especially the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District is not a so-called "cool climate" winegrowing region and it is also not a "hot climate" region. Hawke's Bay has a temperate climate. The temperatures in the ripening period of around 24-28 degrees celsius are absolutely ideal for slow but consistent ripening where the aroma development reaches its greatest range.
At higher temperatures a vine stops "working" and the development of aromas and tannins can be retarded and potential aroma and flavour components metabolized. Wines produced in moderate climates have, in general, the widest aroma and flavour spectrum, are concentrated but not overpowering, are sophisticated and elegant.
Six hectares of vineyards are planted with Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Great attention to detail is paid in the vineyard, the source of fine red wine. High vine planting density and deliberate low yields per vine enable the growing of consistently fully-ripened and healthy grapes every year.
The harvest date is determined not only by Brix levels (grape sugar content) but more importantly by the actual taste of the berries and seeds. We place great importance on doing all the critical work in the vineyards ourselves to make sure the high quality level in the vineyard is maintained. Due to extensive hand labour and attention to detail in the canopy management we are also able to achieve a significant reduction in the use of vineyard sprays.