The island has ideal conditions for cool climate winemaking, with its warm summers, lean soils, and lengthy, mild autumns. The soils are predominantly clay, rich in iron and manganese oxides, and overlays ancient weathered rock. Wind and soil create a low vigour growing environment where grape vines struggle and produce small but concentrated yields of ripe fruit with intense flavours.
The surrounding warm sea currents boost the temperature of the island by up to 2 degrees centigrade, while the afternoon sea breezes reduce the effects of excessive heat buildup, giving Waiheke Island one of the world's lowest diurnal temperature ranges for growing winegrapes. Waiheke's warm days (up to 32 degrees C) and mild nights maintain the amount and duration of temperature required to respire away both malic acid and methoxypyrazine.
The island also has a few other features that help give Obsidian's wines an individual stamp. The steep slopes on which our vines are planted concentrate the heat of the sun, maximise ripeness and promote drainage.
Vines are planted in a complex array of aspects, including
Some guidance as to the “anticipated maturity” of our wines.
Read more >>