Welcome to Elephant Hill Winery
Proprietors Reydan and Roger Weiss first fell in love with the beauty of Te Awanga when visiting from Germany in 2001. Together they envisaged owning a state-of-the-art winery, merging the traditional values of winemaking with an innovative approach and contemporary style to produce exceptional wines to savour & enjoy.
Andreas is the second generation of the Weiss family to be directly involved at Elephant Hill. After studying economics and engineering at the Technical University of Berlin a successful 20 year career in the banking industry followed with assignments in Germany, England and Brazil. In 2013 Andreas founded his own consulting firm, analysing and developing financial infrastructure set ups for municipalities in his home country of Germany. A change in direction then took place in September 2015 when Andreas was offered the fantastic opportunity to manage Elephant Hill which he gladly accepted. Andreas and wife Karina with their 5 children will set up home in Hawke's Bay. As CEO of Elephant Hill he has a passion and a commitment to quality while successfully running the business for future generations.
Hawke's Bay is located on the eastern side of the North Island and is one of New Zealand's warmest regions. With high sunshine hours and low rain fall (780 mm year) Hawke’s Bay is perfectly suited to growing wine grapes and crafting premium wine. Our belief is that great wines are hand-made wines where meticulous attention to detail starts in the vineyard. This is why we hand-pick our grapes in order to be very selective in using the best possible fruit to make our wines.
Elephant Hill has three vineyards in the renowned sub-regions of Hawke’s Bay. The coastal Te Awanga Vineyard, the inland Gimblett Vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers District and The Triangle Vineyard in the Bridge Pa Triangle region.
SOIL AND CLIMATE
Our vineyards have a variety of soil types and micro climates which give us the ability to capture the different elements and nuances of each particular site to make wines of complexity and character. Each grape variety has been carefully matched to the varying soil types, ranging from shingle to clay to very old, stony river beds producing a range of flavour profiles in the wines. This gives us extensive blending options or the opportunity to make terroir based, site specific, single vineyard wines.
Established in 2003, Elephant Hill is located within a stone’s throw of the Pacific Ocean on the idyllic Te Awanga coast of Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island.
The winemaking at Elephant Hill is driven by tradition while not losing sight of what innovation can bring to the blend. Our aim is to make wines that are balanced and elegant and a true expression of the vineyards they come from.
The technology associated with winemaking is always improving, as is the knowledge and understanding of the science of wine. Important as these factors are, to preserve the varietal integrity of the fruit from our vineyard is key. In the winery we ferment our grapes in many small, separate batches. This allows for the nuances and character of each separate fermentation to come to the fore and be considered when blending for our Estate, Reserve or Icon wines.
The perfect vintage is warm and dry throughout autumn; the climate so benign of threats that we can pick the fruit when it is truly flavour-ripe for the style of wine desired. The perfect vintage, of course, does not exist. In crafting wine one learns to deal with the weather nature hands you, and gradually to enjoy the variation from year to year. Great wine should reflect the site and the climate of where it is grown. One of the most rewarding challenges in making wine is to craft a wine that best represents the vintage in which it was grown, that plays to the strengths of the harvest and mitigates the challenges that were faced.
Elephant Hill 2017 Airavata
Complex, detailed bouquet with an attractive allure of new French oak, ripe red berries and dark plums, fragrant spices and pepper. On the palate - weighty, fruity and complex with fine fruit tannins layered between more textured oak tannins and sweetness of new oak wood. A light smoky quality shows off the natural pepper flavour and acidity. A delicious yet very youthful wine, complex and fine. Decanting is a must for service between now and its ideal drinking window - 2021 through 2029. Best in your cellar till then. You will be rewarded with this investment.
96 Points - CAMERON DOUGLAS
Elephant Hill 2017 Stone Syrah
From the Gimblett Gravels subregion. Dense, rich, ripe syrah with Black Doris plum, liquorice, blackcurrant compote, spicy oak and chocolate/mocha. An impressive and accessible wine that should develop well with bottle-age. (Screwcap)
Score: 95 ★★★★★ - BOB CAMPBELL MW
Elephant Hill 2019 Sea Viognier
The skilfully crafted 2019 vintage (5*) was estate-grown at Te Awanga and partly (55 per cent) barrel-fermented. Pale straw, with a fresh, slightly biscuity bouquet, it is mouthfilling, fleshy and sweet-fruited, with generous, vibrant peach, pear, lychee and spice flavours, a subtle seasoning of oak, a slightly oily richness, and a finely textured, smooth, very harmonious finish. Best drinking 2022+.
★★★★✰ – 4.5 Stars - MICHAEL COOPER