Woodside Hill is a small 1 Hectare vineyard located on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. The vineyard lies nestled in a larger area of native bush in association with the Whakanewha regional park. This gives the site a number of advantages; it's sheltered to the east, south and west, and it's distance to other vineyards keeps the disease pressure down.
The site is relatively steep, averaging around 20 degrees. This requires specialist equipment in the form of a tractor that has rubber tracks. The steepness of the site means that the grapes are less susceptible to excess moisture in wetter years - the rain tends to run off, giving better fruit.
The soil is typical for the area being a thin layer of topsoil over a manganese stained cracking clay layer of about 1 meter. Underneath the clay layer is a red/orange loam that is at least 7 meters deep. The clay is low fertility and the soils lack calcium, phosphor and magnesium, these nutrients must be supplemented to the vines.
In about 1/5 of the vineyard the clay is underlayed by gravel giving extremly low cropping vines (<800g per vine) The vines planted are predominately Merlot (clone 347) - 71%, Cabernet Franc (TK05014) - 25%, and Petit Verdot (clone 400) - 4%. All rootstock is 3309. We are very pleased with this combination of clones and rootstocks which is giving balanced growth and yield across the vineyard. The most common pests of the area are birds and therefore the vines are netted from February through to harvest.