‘Old World Wines in the New World’
Hans conscientiously identified a unique piece of land bordering the banks of the Wairau River providing all the elements to continue with his Old World tradition, to lead the way with new grape varieties. Not influenced by commercial thoughts, he then successfully planted (in the mid-nineties) Pinot Gris, Viognier and Montepulciano, varieties rarely witnessed in New Zealand at the time.
Herzog Single ‘Grand Cru’ Vineyard
The dedication to tend the vine with immaculate detail (extensive bud rubbing, shoot thinning, leaf plucking, bunch thinning, homicidal green harvests and of course hand picking), result in wines that not only reflect the land where they are grown but by the vigneron who nurtures them.
As part of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, herbicides and pesticides are not used, and all pressings are returned back to the vineyard. Irrigation is judiciously employed, with 3 to 4 ‘soakings’ per annum.
Vineyard area: 11.5ha
Plant density: 5500 vines per ha
Yield: 1.5 tonnes per hectare
Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet-Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Barbera,
Petit-Verdot, Saperavi, Lagrein, St Laurent, Zweigelt
Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Arneis, Rousanne, Marsanne, Semillon, Gewürztraminer, Gruner Veltliner, Verdelho
The adjacent wide and mostly dry riverbed produces an exceptionally unique microclimate: The prevailing nor westerly breeze provides for an exceptionally dry climate. This breeze also warms the sand, water and stones off the river, providing the extra heat required to achieve the ripeness Hans dictates in all of his varieties and ensures protection from frosts.
Free draining alluvial soils, deposited by the river, comprised of silt, clay, sand and gravel is the perfect blend to produce fruit of the highest quality.
Exceptional sunshine hours, the longest in New Zealand, combined with cool nights provide a long stress free ripening period, enhance the fruit flavours of each grape rarely seen in other regions of the world.
Herzog Estate Winery
The entire winemaking process is achieved onsite - Over 150 French oak barrels age the precious wines in a temperature controlled barrel hall. To ensure the top quality of the wine, the bottling, labelling and packing is all done at the winery with a modern GAI bottling and labelling machine.
Hans’ non-interventional philosophy allows wines to undergo long, cool fermentation with wild yeasts; here old-world methods and experience go hand in hand with technology. No chemicals, additives or concentration. 100% natural winemaking.
The red varieties are usually fermented according to a slow three week initial fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks followed by malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels where the young wine ages from 12 to 30 months depending on the variety and vintage.
The white varieties are barrel fermented (or a portion of) in 500 litre puncheons, left on lees and matured in the same barrel for a period of anything between 6 and 12 months. To maintain the intensive flavours, there is no fining or filtration to preserve the complexity and structure that the wines have become famous for.
Quality over Quantity
Average production per year: less than 3,000 cases
"Herzog is a very serious winery dedicated to making wines of character and excellence"
- Gerard Basset OBE, MW, Best Sommelier in the World 2010