About this site
Waipara is located on the east coast of the South Island, about an hour's drive north of Christchurch and a winding half day drive south of Marlborough. At the northern end of the Canterbury plain, the topography turns to gentle slopes with a group of hills along the coast.
Unlike the relative bustle of some other regions, Hastings at Hawke's Bay, Blenheim in Marlborough, and the Christchurch area of Canterbury, Waipara is a quiet, isolated village on the Christchurch-Picton highway. With the potential Waipara has for growing top-quality grapes, it won't be a sleepy village much longer. Evidence the recent investment in the impressive Canterbury House Winery. Evidence too in the reviews being garnered by Mountford Vineyard and Pegasus Bay.
The region is dry; situated to the east of the Southern Alps, with northwesterly winds. Irrigation projects allowed for the development of vineyards in mid-80's. Cool weather grapes do well in Waipara, particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are also doing well. The long dry autumns allow for full development of the fruit. In a recent review, Wine Magazine said that Waipara Pinot Noir may soon be as recognizable as Russian River Pinot.
Here is the list of wineries: