The Brookfields winemaking philosophy is to make fruit-driven wines that
are enjoyable in their youth, go well with food and for those that can
resist temptation, wines that respond well to cellaring. When selecting
sites for growing grapes and assessing the potential flavour development,
one has to consider the terroir. It is the cumulative effect of site,
soil type, climate and culture, winemaking starts in the vineyard. The
Bergman, Marshall Bank and Ohiti Estate vineyards are owned by Brookfields
Vineyards, and the Lyons family own the Hillside site.
The Bergman Vineyard is immediately in front of the
winery. It is named after the garden of 'Ingrid Bergman' red roses in
front of the Villa/Office adjacent to the vineyard. They are an
attractive dark red rose, as was Ingrid in real life. The vineyard is
totally planted in Chardonnay.
Marshall Bank Vineyard:
door to the winery property is Marshall Bank. It is owned by Peter and
Sharon Robertson (winemaker and majority shareholders of Brookfields
Vineyards). The soil type is free draining silty loam, with low
fertility. Consequently clone 15 Chardonnay excels. Sugar levels of 24
Brix are achieved most years.
Ohiti is 'the crossing'. Tamatea was leading his people when his dog
lurched into the river and it resulted in Tamatea crossing at that point.
Ohiti Estate is on the northern side of Roys Hill adjacent the Ngaruroro
River valley. Much of the vineyard is old river bed, hence most of the
vines grow in stones. It is a heat trap, consequently Cabernet Sauvignon
ripens every year. The aromatic varieties (Riesling, Pinot Gris, and
Gewurztraminer) develop superb flavours, as so does Sauvignon Blanc.
North facing slope, the Hillside Vineyard is a special
site located between Bridge Pa and Maraekakaho, allowing maximum sun
exposure and minimal water retention. Perfect spot, 'Terroir' for Syrah.
Translated the Burnfoot Merlot is Scottish for the
property beside the stream or river. In this instance the vineyard is
adjacent the Tuki Tuki River, opposite Te Mata Peak. It is a north facing
site, hence it captures maximum sunlight. The Merlot is clone 181 which
has small berry size and small bunches, and it readily achieves high sugar
levels at harvest. Due to its light cropping, the Burnfoot Merlot has
gained a reputation for its intensity, the colour and flavours are
excellent. The Burnfoot Merlot is an excellent food wine, and can be found
on tables in homes and restaurants in New Zealand and in the United