Huia is located in the Wairau Valley, in Marlborough, at the north eastern tip of the South Island. Claire and Mike Allan established Huia Vineyards Ltd in 1996, a small private company committed to the production of premium and classical Marlborough wines. Claire and Mike were drawn to Marlborough by the intense fruit flavours in the wines. They gained further winemaking experience in key Marlborough wineries, along with an extended spell in Champagne, France.
The Allan's river terrace Rapaura Road property was purchased in late 1990. The vineyard was planted with the finished wine blends in mind. Blending modern and traditional techniques Huia makes seven premium wine varieties, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Vintage Huia Brut. Imported Burgundy chardonnay and pinot noir cultivars have since been planted and are in full production. The sauvignon blanc vines are mass selection.
Since then Huia has leased 6.8 adjoining hectares to be planted with Sauvignon Blanc and some Pinot Gris. Huia also purchased another 16 hectares of bare land on the south side of the Wairau Valley. The soil is loam with a clay layer over free draining shingle. This has been planted predominately with Sauvignon Blanc and a smaller acreage of Pinot Gris. Grapes are sourced from these home vineyards and a small group of selected growers from specific sites around the Wairau valley.
A number of soil patterns are found throughout the valley, even within single vineyards, leading to significant variation in quality and style depending on the grape source. The soils near the Wairau River may have deposits from flood in the last 35 years. In the central part of the valley, such as middle Rapaura, the soils are up to a few hundred years old.
There are terraces of greywacke and silt running side by side over shingle in the central part of the valley. The oldest soils in the valley such as the Brancott are up to 7000 years old. Even these are considered very young soils. The older soils in the southern part of the valley have increasing amount of clay deposits the closer they are to the Wither Hills.
Huia grows Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris on two primary estate vineyards. Both the Winsome (located in Riverlands) and the Winery Blocks have been managed under the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand scheme for the first time in 2004. To ensure NZ stays clean and green for future generations, Huia has become a member of the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowers. This scheme encourages member growers to embrace appropriate, environmentally and economically sustainable wine grape production methods for New Zealand conditions. The Huia Estate's Cellar Door team welcomes you all year round, 7 days a week from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm.
The viticultural techniques applied across all vineyards aim to maximise grape quality in every vintage. Particular attention is paid to controlling yields along with canopy management to expose fruit to the sun and provide ripe, healthy grapes. Huia uses these techniques to optimise the natural balance between sugar, acid and all the flavours. This creates a delicious degree of balance, texture and palate length.