Once known for its hot, dry summers and sheep farms, the Waipara Valley is now an established vineyard area. The local Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are particularly good. Sheltered from the cool easterly wind by the Teviotdale hills, the valley records hotter temperatures than the rest of Canterbury, and warm dry autumns ensure a longer time for the grapes to mature. Winemakers are also exploiting the area's limestone soil to grow Pinots—Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinotage. There are 31 wineries in the valley, with nearly 3,700 acres planted out in vines.
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