Purchased in 1986, the neglected but historic Vidal's No.2 Vineyard at Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay was set to become Clearview Estate. Tim Turvey with business partner Helma van den Berg took on the challenge of bringing it back to life. Together they hand grafted and planted the first vines in the winter of 1988. Clearview Estate Winery Ltd was established for the first red wine vintage in 1989, following some experimentation in prior years. Chardonnay began in 1991 with the release of the first Reserve Chardonnay.
Over the next several years, Tim and Helma went on to plant thousands of trees including avocado, olive, bay, citrus, gums, and melia. And they didn't stop there. Together they expanded the vineyard by three acres each year, grafting and planting vines, ramming posts, running wires, training young vines, and for many years completing all of the pruning themselves.
Today the business proudly remains owner-operated. Tim oversees the vineyards and works with chief winemaker Matt Kirby and assistant winemaker Rob Bregmen to create legendary much-awarded wines. Helma manages the finance, restaurant, gardens and her extraordinary team. Steeped in history, Clearview Estate Winery Cellar Door and Clearview Estate Red Shed Restaurant have become an iconic and awarded destination for both locals and visitors from afar.
SupermarketNews spoke to Matt Kirby, chief winemaker at Clearview Estate to see what goes in to creating award-winning wines.
What characteristics of your wine are influenced by the physical landscape of your winery?
“Situated on the coastline of Hawke’s Bay, the Te Awanga sub-region enjoys a warm, extended growing season & the benefit of cleansing sea breezes in a virtually frost free climate.”
What is one of the most rewarding things about winemaking?
“No two days are ever the same, you are essentially a farmer that guides the product from the vineyard to the bottle, then seeing the enjoyment that the product brings to people.”
“Optimal ripening conditions have produced an opulent Chardonnay in the classic Clearview Estate style. 100% barrel fermentation contributes nutty, mealy flavours offsetting the citrus drive with characteristic natural acidity.”
What was important in making this award-winning wine?
“We take a very hands off approach. The grapes are hand harvested, pressed and barrel fermented. The whole process is quite minimal.”
“Grilled snapper, charred corn, basil, sorrel & cherry tomatoes.”
How long can you shelf your winning bottle of wine for?
Who would your wine appeal to?
“Those who like the finer things in life, this receives very similar treatment that our famous reserve chardonnay does. I often think it is our best value wine.”
How would you describe this wine to someone who's never had this grape varietal/blend before?
“Intense and concentrated with flinty, pear and citrus flavours, with a really long and persistent taste.”
If you could do a wine bottle swap with any winery in NZ or the world, which winery and wine would it be with?
“Lots of my friends around NZ are making world class wines, so we are a little spoiled for choice.”
Founders: Tim Turvey & Helma van den Berg
Current Owners: Tim Turvey & Helma van den Berg
Winemaker: Matt Kirby
Location: Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay
Wine varietals produced:
Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Chambourcin, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc