Fodor's Expert Review Esk Valley Estate Winery
Winemaker Gordon Russell produces merlot, syrah, and blends with cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, and malbec in various combinations, including a rare and expensive red simply called The Terraces. White varieties include chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, verdelho, chenin blanc, and pinot gris. Look for the Winemakers Reserve versions of chardonnay, syrah, and merlot-malbec blend to find out what he has done with the best grapes from given years. The vineyard's position, in a sheltered valley overlooking the Pacific, ensures it captures full sun; it's located 12 km (8 miles) north of Napier, just north of the town of Bay View before Highways 2 and 5 split.