History of Clearview Estate Winery and Restaurant
Told in 1985 that the location was" too cold to grow wine grapes" Tim Turvey went ahead in 1986 and purchased the property at Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay. Tim took the negative comments as a challenge. Together with business partner Helma van den Berg, they hand grafted and planted the first vines in the winter of 1988. Clearview Estate Winery Ltd was established with the Ward family for the first red wine vintage in 1989, following some experimentation in prior years.
Tim and Helma went on to plant 2,500 trees, including avocados, olives, melia and bay trees, lavender and citrus. Vineyard plantings were continued at 3 acres per annum. They grafted and planted their grapevines, rammed the posts, ran the wires and trained the young vines, for many years also doing all the pruning. Tim and Helma also designed and built the winery, adding to the cellar door and restaurant as the business grew. In the early days of the business Tim discovered a fading sign inscribed ‘Vidals No 2 vineyard’ when mowing the front paddock. Upon researching the origin of this sign Tim and Helma discovered the historic property had originally been purchased by Spaniard Anthony Joseph Vidal around 1912. It was around this time that the Vidal family planted an olive tree which still grows near the restaurant and is the inspiration for Clearview’s award winning wine Old Olive Block. Around the war years the property had grown grape varieties suitable for fortified wines and sherries which were fashionable at the time.
Our Clearview Restaurant was opened in 1992. The rustic air of the restaurant and the cellar is the result of materials hand salvaged by Tim and Helma in the early 1990’s from the old Napier railways' locomotive repair workshop. The restaurant and cellar door were created by rebuilding a dismantled Ford motors garage from Hastings, complete with five massive roller doors.
Clearview’s iconic ‘red shed” restaurant was one of the first restaurants in a vineyard/winery location in New Zealand. Our coastal vineyard restaurant rates highly, consistently nominated in regional Hospitality Awards and reliably receiving Beef & Lamb awards since 1998. The 'red shed' has become a dining destination of rustic integrity for local and international visitors alike.
The Hawke’s Bay Vineyards
The Estate grows 11 grape varieties from 19.4 hectares (48 acres) of Te Awanga vineyards. We intensively manage and prune our vines for low yields of quality fruit. The seaside location has a moderating influence and we often enjoy an extended ripening period well into autumn. The clay and loam soils sit over deep beds of free draining river shingle. Leased land at Gimblett Road provides Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Our first winery was housed in what is now the restaurant. The grapes for red wines were crushed and macerated in deep vats set in the concrete floor. The barrel fermentation and aging room has now become the administration offices.
A dedicated winery was set into the ground and built in time for the 2000 vintage and extended for 2004. The upgrade of the winery coincided with the purchase of a new Italian press, gently treating, pressing and processing the 100% hand-picked fruit.
The winery generally processes around 120-130 tonnes of grapes in a vintage, with our largest vintage being around 180 tonnes. We have achieved close to 100 gold medals and 5 star ratings in the 25 years we have been producing Clearview wine.
Our Hawke’s Bay Wines
Clearview Estate has established a considerable reputation for high quality, handmade wines since the winery’s first release of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1989.
Our Reserve Chardonnay has received gold medals, five star ratings, and trophies in every vintage since 1992. New Zealand wine critic Michael Cooper has called our Reserve Chardonnay an “iconic New Zealand Chardonnay” and “a New Zealand super classic”.
Besides the Reserve Chardonnay, a lighter oaked “Beachhead” Chardonnay is produced, along with a fruitier “Te Awanga” Chardonnay. Both of these wines have been medal winners in national and international wine competitions. Today our recent releases continue this tradition with the 2009 Reserve Chardonnay winning five gold medals and two 5 star ratings.
We continue to experiment with different varieties such as Sauvignon Gris, Semillon, barrel ferments, different clones and an assortment of yeast and “wild” ferments; continuing to push all boundaries in the pursuit of perfection and great funky flavours.
Clearview Estate red wines are definite expressions of the Hawke’s Bay terroir with examples from the Te Awanga and State Highway 50 regions. Our Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blends are at the forefront of New Zealand red wines. Our Pinot Noir from the Southern regions was the first tri-regional example of this variety.
Both Clearview Estate red and white dessert wines are the first of their kind in New Zealand and are luscious examples of the terroir, gaining national and international notoriety. Enjoy all of these wines with the knowledge that there are nearly three decades of passion and commitment from the original owners to deliver explosive wines of great expression!