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Story Two – The Riverpoint Appellation

The home of Matawhero wines is the vineyard and winery at Riverpoint Road in Gisborne. Same place since 1968 when Bill started tinkering with grape vines.

The Waipaoa River is a prominent feature, snaking its way through the Gisborne landscape, then washes into the bay. Some time in its past, it encircled a small number of properties on the road. The locals descriptively called that area "Riverpoint".

With the Waipaoa catchment encompassing a large portion of the hill country surrounding the Gisborne flats, the river was prone to regular flooding, especially at Riverpoint where it was forced to turn 180 degrees over a very small distance. This flooding would wash across Riverpoint Road depositing lovely free draining loam soils. It is these soils (or terroir) which have been a large component of the unparalleled wines from Matawhero.

To alleviate the effects of regular flooding, the river was diverted to take a more direct route to the sea in 1954. The old river bed now forms a DOC wetland surrounding the property which is home to many native bird species of New Zealand.

The pictures above show the entrance to the property and an aerial photograph of the Matawhero property as it looks today, with the old river bed at the back of the property. This also highlights the close proximity of the property to the ocean. This maritime climate provides a cooling sea breeze in the early mornings and late afternoons during the long hot summers.