Producer Spotlight - Esk Valley


Where Hawkes Bay's pioneering spirit endures, delivering wines of quiet sophistication and undeniable pedigree.

Heritage with an unwavering focus
Esk Valley's story begins in 1933, grounded in the traditional fortified styles popular at the time. But as the fortunes of these styles faded so did those of the winery, and in the 1980’s it took the keen eye of Sir George Fistonich (of Villa Maria fame) to spot the potential sleeping within those Hawkes Bay vineyards. His investment was more than financial. The revitalisation of a terraced vineyard became a symbol of Esk Valley's rebirth and is from where the legendary 'The Terraces' is now rightfully sought after.
Winemaker Gordon Russell's appointment in 1993 brought stability and an unwavering dedication to expressive yet elegant wines. His traditional approach favoured minimal intervention, showcasing the region's character in those handcrafted reds and whites. Esk Valley doesn't court trends; it quietly excels in the fine details that true wine lovers understand.

Stewards of the land and the legacy
The Esk Valley team carries a quiet sense of responsibility. Richard Painter, a proven talent with the 2018 NZ Winemaker of the Year title, now follows the legendary Gordon Russell - a true pioneer in the Hawkes Bay wine scene. It's a testament to Esk Valley's focus on retaining top talent. Sustainability isn't just a buzzword here. From vineyards to the final bottled product, there's a genuine desire to leave things better than they were found. Their long-time membership in Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand underscores that commitment. Esk Valley's accomplishments are tangible - a 35% reduction in emissions per bottle is a win for both the wine and the wider world. There's no resting on laurels, though; this journey is ongoing, and the team is dedicated to continuous improvement.

A Hawke's Bay heart
Esk Valley's roots are firmly in the warm soils of Hawke's Bay, producing rich, complex reds like their Merlot Cabernet Malbec blend. Yet, their curiosity extends beyond. The bright, vivacious Esk Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc showcases their skill with a classic from across the Cook Strait. The Artisanal Collection is where winemaker Richard Painter's creativity shines. It's a playground for varieties like Albariño and unusual expressions of Hawkes Bay grapes. These are wines that invite further exploration. With the 'River Gravel' series, they capture the distinct character of vineyards nestled amongst ancient river-beds. Each wine speaking of a specific place. Then there's the icon: The Terraces. This wine, born from revitalised vineyards, embodies Esk Valley's history and uncompromising quest for quality. It's a wine of power and grace - a true testament to Hawke's Bay and the enduring art of winemaking.

If you're tempted to try some we've 10% off all Esk Valley Wines during May. Just use the promo code ESKVALLEY at the checkout

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