WAITIRI CREEK

- Boutique Wines from Central Otago-
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WE'RE ONE OF
THE ORIGINALS

Rugged and beautiful, Gibbston Valley is an environmental haven for grape growing in New Zealand. It’s also home to a select few world-renowned wineries, including our very own Waitiri Creek.

Waitiri Creek isn’t just another commercial Central Otago winery. It’s family owned and thoroughly boutique, a labour of love created by some real pioneers – the Ward family. We were among the early settlers in New Zealand, arriving at Bluff Harbour in the South Island in 1875, so we’ve been here a while. Over the years, this ruggedly beautiful little valley of ours has seen some hardship, some happiness and plenty in between.

 

The Gold Rush era meant an influx of settlers ready to endure major adversity in the hope of riches. Farmers and sawmillers like the Ward family arrived ready to work the land to begin a better life.

 

A century later and the rugged search for gold has been replaced by the celebration of this land’s suitability for grape growing – the liquid gold of today. We’ve been part of this area for so long, we’re practically part of the scenery.

 

Over the years we’ve been joined by others, from Gibbston Valley Winery and Chard Farm, to Peregrine, Mount Rosa and Coalpit more recently – to name a few. It’s no surprise that our little neck of the woods is known as the ‘Valley of Wines’!

By capitalising on the unique Gibbston terroir and using sustainable viticulture practices, Waitiri Creek produces distinctly fine wines

OUR WINES

From our beautiful home in the Gibbston Valley, Central Otago, the Ward family proudly bring you a range of award-winning wines:

 

Pinot Noir  |  Pinot Gris  |  Chardonnay

Rose – ‘Harriet Rose’  |  Sauvignon Blanc – ‘Stella’  |  Gewurztraminer

 

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but Waitiri Creek have managed to collect tremendous accolades over the years: NZ’s Royal Easter Show, Bragato Wine Awards, Top 100 International Wine competitions, NZ Wine Society and Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

 

While we were thrilled to be recognised by the best in the industry, after a while it was time to shift focus. We have stopped entering competitions and we like to think our wine has only improved as a result.

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OUR LABEL

Gibbston Valley, Central Otago resonates as an environmental haven  for grape growing that is among the best in the world. It is also a very, very beautiful part of  New Zealand that we’re proud to call home.

Being family owned means that Waitiri Creek is built on passion and pride in our heritage. It’s what builds our brand year after year and ensures there’s a little bit of us in every bottle we produce. Our name, Waitiri Creek, comes from the tiny spot on the map that is Waitiri. In the indigenous Maori language of New Zealand, ‘Waitiri’ means thundering water, a name that belongs to the Maori Goddess of Thunder.

 

Waitiri Creek’s beautiful wine label with its traditional black and gold weaves together the dark skies that foretold the thunder and the golden nuance of autumn’s seasonal handiwork - a world of entrancement. The mountainous ranges that encircle the Gibbston Valley are portrayed with the strength and power owing to such a magical area.

 

Our wines define our customers - connoisseurs and wine lovers alike

 

​Waitiri Creek wines are only available through select specialty wine retailers. In addition, we supply premium restaurants within New Zealand and plan to maintain this approach within our export markets. These include Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, UK, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

 
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OUR LAND

“Waitiri Creek’s unique landholding gives us the ability to harvest grape varietals perfectly selected for the area’s specific growing conditions. We love this aspect of our work – it is like manicuring the vines for the best result. With the benefit of great grape growing days and despite climatic extremes, our Gibbston-true philosophy has always been to focus on bringing the best grapes to  the vintners table, no matter what the weather Gods throw at us.”

-Alistair Ward

 

Our vineyard blocks are planted with grape varieties /cultivars uniquely matched to the Gibbston micro climate. The advanced skill of matching grape cultivar to land and climate is known as ‘terroir mapping’ and is a more recent innovation for New Zealand’s wine industry – and something we’re excited to be a part of.

 

This practice of utilising the interplay between soils and climate has really paved the way for others to follow. Innovation is important to us and our family is committed to best practice. We’ve also phased out the ‘bare earth’ policy of vineyard floor management, in favour of inter-row planting a range of cover crops. This assists in the control of vine vigour, simultaneously improving soil health and general biodiversity. We’re also a member of the handpicked club, still picking grapes by hand to achieve maximum quality - just as we’ve always done.

 

In general the soil profile of Waitiri Creek soils is 400 – 500mm of wind- blown glacial deposits on 4 – 5 metres of free draining alluvial schist. Our vineyards are between 300 – 350 metres above sea level.

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OUR TEAM

ALISTAIR WARD

General Manager

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A strong reputation in the corporate world has provided a sound base for Alistair’s work with Waitiri Creek. Alistair masterminds the vineyard’s development, provides governance expertise and drives new opportunities. He also works as a director on several Boards and is sought after for his merger and acquisition capabilities.

 

Many of his corporate clients are now loyal Waitiri Creek customers who appreciate the expertise of someone who knows what it takes to get to the top.

PIP BATTLEY

Senior Winemaker

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Pip Battley is rapidly establishing herself as a recognised winemaker, known for being intuitive, dynamic and innovative with consistent successes achieved in competition. Born and raised on a farm in North Auckland, Pip’s desire for travel and a passion for Pinot Noir, has taken her from Martinborough and Central Otago to Oregon, Burgundy and Chablis, Nelson and South Australia. In 2017, Pip returned to NZ and was appointed Winemaker at VinPro, due to her confidence, reliability and aptitude for the role she quickly progressed to Senior Winemaker in 2019.

 

Pip believes in letting the wine speak for itself with just a little guidance along the way, she strives to bring out the qualities unique to the vineyard, gently tailoring the wine with minimal interference.

 

Pip says - "My first vintage with Waitiri Creek was in 2019 and I really enjoyed making Rose and Pinot Noir from this block. I look forward to getting to know the vineyard even more and seeing how the vines and wines develop."

 
Favoured and award winning, over the years Waitiri Creek have amassed tremendous accolades including winning awards issued by NZ’s Royal Easter Show, Bragato Wine Awards, Top 100 International Wine competitions, NZ Wine Society and Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
 

CONTACT US

 Please note we no longer operate the Church Cellar Door -
for all bookings and enquiries, please call 04 441 3315

Wine Sales: sales@waitiricreekwines.co.nz or call 021 240 2988

Email us here for sales and enquiries.

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