Elephant Hill – New Releases from Te Awanga

Elephant Hill was established by Reydan and Roger Weiss from Germany following a visit to Te Awanga in 2001. In 2003, they established 25 ha of vineyard to produce wines at the highest level of quality reflecting their origins. The vines enjoy the maritime influence of the Te Awanga district which is cooler than sites further inland and are planted in a variety of soils from shingle-sand to fine clay and silt. The varieties planted are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Chardonnay in the whites with Merlot and Syrah in red. Brittany Thompson is the viticulturist and the winemaking is under the care of Steve Skinner who was with Trinity Hill prior. Steve made the inaugural 2007 wines off-site, with the 2008s made in the newly commissioned and no-expenses spared winery on-site in 2008. The contemporary restaurant has enjoyed top reviews and is highly recommended. Here are my reviews of a selection of the latest releases from this high profile, up-and coming Hawke's Bay winery, which has a particularly strong reputation for Syrah already. www.elephanthill.co.nz

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