Our Terra

We are a Bannockburn producer with all four vineyards and our winery based here. Our heritage, and our future, is tied to the land in this distinctive sub-region of Central Otago.

The distinctive, and mysterious, earth dug and carved by generations of dreamers. The level of schist in the soils is stunning. 

Since the arrival of the deadly vine pest phylloxera in Burgundy in the 1870s, the Pinot Noir grape has, almost without exception, been grafted onto phylloxera resistant American rootstock.  As the owner of Domaine Henry-Marrionet, the owner of the oldest vineyard France, has said, “We have the luck to possess the oldest vineyard of France, which was planted in 1850...Wines coming from ungrafted vines give much more complex aromas, a more pronounced red colour, and greater density, volume, and much greater richness in the mouth....The wines from ungrafted vines have more of everything, and greater length. The rootstock acts as a filter.” We are lucky to have vines on their original rootstock, with the outcomes of true natural integration of root and trunk obvious in our Terra Sancta wines. 

Wlild Thyme grows freely behind the vineyard. The aroma in spring is intoxicating. 

There is real financial risk in this strategy, as phylloxera is still very much alive and kicking and, if it gets in your vineyard, it can wipe you out. At Terra Sancta we carry this risk on a number of our vines, but think the resulting wine -  including the natural clarity and concentration of the integrated, natural, ungrafted vine, is worth it.

The truth of these ungrafted vines can be tasted in particular in Slapjack Block Pinot Noir- which comes entirely from vines on their own rootsock, as do the Terra Sancta Estate Riesling and Dry Rielsing, while Jackson’s Block comes predominantly from original rootstock.