Greystone Wines, based in North Canterbury, New Zealand, was established by the Thomas Family in 2000 and is now led by a team of funky people determined to make the most site-driven wines possible.

Dom Maxwell is the winemaker; he joined the team as a vineyard-hand in 2004 straight out of Lincoln University. Since then he has been named New Zealand’s best winemaker twice. The Greystone team are understandably happy to have nabbed Dom early and kept him since day one!

The Greystone approach to winemaking is to let the different elements essential to the grapevine sing in the bottle. Maxwell wants to let the season and the soils have their say and nurture it through to show a style that will stand the test of time.

The vineyard was planted in 2004 and the first vintage was in 2007. Seven different varieties are grown across the property’s two organic vineyards (Greystone and Muddy Water) – including chardonnay, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, syrah, gewurztraminer and riesling.

Talking Greystone Pinot Noir with Alissa

The varietal Greystone is best known for is pinot noir. In 2018, Greystone released its first ‘Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir’ – a wine made entirely in the vineyard.

You can visit the Greystone team (or one of the five dogs that roam the winery: Luna, Pedro, Albie, Rupert and Stu) by popping into their cellar door. It’s open daily, tastings are just $5 per person (a fee that’s waived upon purchase of a bottle), and if you’re after snacks they do a rustic platter.

Greystone Wines

376 Omihi Rd, Waipara 7483, New Zealand

Open daily

What style do you think characterises the pinot of your region?

Savoury, serious, sexy. Not fruit bombs for the dilettantes and debutantes. These are full, rich, dark pinot noirs from the North Canterbury hillsides. Spicy aromatics on the nose, minerality and length on the palate.

Tell us three things we need to know about your region?
  1. Limestone and clay soils are the best for pinot noir.
  2. We grow truffles and porcini mushrooms here.
  3. Oldest pinot noir vines in New Zealand – real pioneers!
What’s the one thing we must do in your region?

Come and stay at the Purepod glass eco-cabin on the hillside behind Greystone.

If not you, who else should people try?

Pegasus Bay, Black Estate.

If your pinot was a music artist, who would it be?

Neil Young.

Best music to listen to during vintage?

It’s all about shuffle over vintage. ’90s hip hop, pop, ballads, classic rock. Good tunes keep the cellar fresh.

Where do you pinot?

With the team at the vineyard. There’s nothing better than drinking the wine at the source and knowing that we all had a hand at getting it into the glass.

What song should we listen to when driving to the winery?

What song should we listen to when driving away and onto the next one?