About the Bridge Pa Triange Wine District
Hawke’s Bay is a wonderfully attractive mix of beautiful scenery, award-winning wines, gourmet experiences, family fun, a thriving arts community, unique wildlife, stunning architecture, and rich cultural heritage.
Long hot summers and mild sunny winters make Hawkes Bay the perfect year-round getaway for a romantic weekend, a break away with friends, or a family holiday with the kids. Whether it is the fresh bud burst of spring, long hot languid days of summer, the golden hues of harvest or the crisp air and blue skies of winter, Hawke’s Bay is waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
Hawkes Bay is on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand, located at 39.4°South, the same as Madrid in the Northern Hemisphere.
History, consistency, diversity and innovation continue to provide the foundation for Hawke’s Bay’s reputation as a fine wine producing region. With over 80% of New Zealand’s plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes, Hawke’s Bay has a reputation for superior quality red wines. The warm maritime climate and varying landscape also produces New Zealand’s richest and most complex Chardonnays.
The Bridge Pa Triangle Region
The Bridge Pa Triangle is a grape growing area roughly delineated by three roads: Ngatarawa Road, State Highway 50 and Maraekakaho Road. It is recognised as a premium wine growing area in the Hawke’s Bay region. In ancient times the area was blanketed by the pumice tephra of numerous Taupo volcanic events. Much of the Triangle area covers the historical (pre-1860s earthquake) riverbed of the nearby Ngaruroro River. As such soil types include Ngatarawa Gravels, Takapau Silty-loam (free draining red metal of mixed alluvial and volcanic origin) and shallow clay-loam soils with underlying deep free draining pumice.
It is the special nature of the soils here that provide depth and flavour to the resulting wines, based on free-draining “red metal” gravels overlaid by alluvium derived from loess, volcanic ash and greywacke. The combination of these special soils with high sunshine hours, low rainfall and Growing Degree Days comparable to Bordeaux makes the Bridge Pa Triangle a unique viticultural area.
The Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District contains the oldest soils on the Heretaunga Plains, formed over thousands of years by the changing course of the lower Ngaruroro River. It is characterised by three main soil types: the Takapau and Ngatarawa series are both sandy loam over gravel, while the eastern border along Ngatarawa Road is primarily Te Awa clay loam on pumice sand. All three are free-draining, warm soils overlying “red metal” alluvial gravels that are ideally suited to viticulture, with sufficient water holding capacity to give balanced vines with only limited irrigation.
The Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District Association
Alwyn Corban and Garry Glazebrook of Ngatarawa Wines pioneered wine production in the area in the 1980s and it is only with the growth of other boutique wineries in the late 1990s that the “Bridge Pa Triangle” has been delineated and named. The area is also sometimes described as The Maraekakaho Triangle and The Ngatarawa Triangle. Bordering Ngatarawa Road and to the north of the area along State Highway 50 is the Gimblett Gravels wine growing area.
The Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District was initially proposed in 2008 and a small group of winemakers and owners from the wineries on the “Triangle” met in late 2012 to get the project off the ground.
Through the initialization of the wine district each member endeavors to promote the unique properties that the wines from this region reflect.