The perfect place
to grow wine.
Ara's wines are grown in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand. The vineyard gets all the beneficial climatic influences that have made the region’s wines world famous, plus some special advantages that are related to soil types and higher altitude.
Lying at comparable latitudes to France and Italy’s best wine regions, New Zealand gets lots of strong sunshine. However, being surrounded by a vast expanse of cold ocean, our temperatures are at the cool end of the winegrowing spectrum. This combination makes New Zealand wines distinctly fresh and vibrant.
Marlborough is wedged between mountain ranges and the ocean, near the top of the South Island. Wine has only been grown here on any real scale since the 1970s, but in these few decades the region has become recognised internationally as a wine paradise.
Read more about the Marlborough region
The Waihopai Valley marks the westernmost end of Marlborough’s main Wairau Valley. Beyond it lies nothing but rugged hills. Being further from the sea (30km) and at higher altitude (100m), nights are even cooler here than in other parts of the region. This slows down ripening, creating elegant acidity and more intense flavours.
The soil at the vineyard consists of deep glacial outwash shingle deposits overlaid with finer alluvial or loess material, including lots of clay deeper down. The relatively infertile, free-draining soil is very much like that in Graves and Médoc in Bordeaux, as well as parts of the Rhône Valley.
Read more about the soil
The Wairau Valley, Marlborough climate is one of the sunniest and driest in New Zealand. A rare combination of long, dry summers, bright sun and cool, clear nights provides perfect conditions for growing ripe, intensely-flavoured fruit.
- 2450 sunshine hours per year
- 700 mm rainfall per year
- 1087-1187 Growing Degree Days per year