“Our philosophy in the vineyard is to strive for continuous improvements in quality every year – we have no interest in quantity!”
Jurassic Ridge is a Vineyard and Winery on Waiheke Island that grows Syrah, Montepulciano, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Grigio. Located on the Western Approaches of Waiheke Island in a unique mesoclimate which is similar to that of Bordeaux. The vineyard – sits precisely on the ridge line – on a residual core or root of an ancient tectonically-folded mountain once more than 3,000 metres high – which is predominantly composed of massive (5,000m deep) sequences of greywacke sediments from the Upper Jurassic period some 155 million years ago. These are injected here and there with basaltic lavas from deep in the ocean trench. The resulting iron and magnesium rich cracking clay soils derived from these rocks – not unlike those of Burgundy – are also blessed with layers of volcanic ash from nearby Rangitoto eruptions 600 years ago. Ideal for viticulture. Think Bordeaux on Burgundy plus volcanics! Terroir Magic! A truly boutique vineyard and winery that does everything by hand from the vines up. Lance shares his story…
“After many decades of practising medicine overseas under depressingly increasing bureaucracy and administrative loads, I decided to take a (slightly) early retirement and do something that was entirely new, intriguing and well outside my experience and comfort level – something I had always been curious about – for example, how do you make a great Chateuneuf , Brunello or Montepulciano D’Abruzzo? The family agreed with the concept of retiring back home to NZ and planting grapes and olives for fun. So here we were in 2001 with loads of research behind us and a bunch of plans and wish lists, but no house, no winery, no olive press – just a chunk of bare grass sheep farm to start. My clean sheet of paper!
We hand-planted our Syrah, Montepulciano, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Gris in the autumn of 2002. 4000 holes dug by hand – enough said! And the first wines we released from our first 2005 vintage won plaudits (e.g. Syrah 2005 was considered – ‘at least a Silver Medal’, Bob Campbell MW). The medals and trophies came later as the babies achieved some vine age.
Our speciality wines are natural, 100% pure single vineyard, single varietal, single vintage wines i.e. with no blending from other vineyards or vintages. Our current release natural ‘slow wines’ that are available from our online shop at www.jurassicridge.co.nz and widely shipped internationally and nationally”.