CJ Pask Winery
A leader in international wine competitions
Founded by Englishman Chris Pask more than four decades ago, CJ Pask Winery has long been one of New Zealand’s top wine producers. Pask is credited with planting the first vineyards off Gimblett Road that is today known as Gimblett Gravels. Today’s Pask Winery occupies a modern winery that was completed in 1990 and produces a little more than 50,000 cases annually. It also owns a 220-plus acre vineyard that produces remarkable fruit for the company.
Merlot is the most widely planted varietal at Pask, along with significant amounts of Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Smaller amounts of Malbec, Pinot Gris and Vigonier are also planted.
CJ Pask Winery has long been a leader in international wine competitions and has scored well since introducing its first wines in the mid-1980’s. Wines produced under its Declaration designation are only made in exceptional growing years, when the fruit is of remarkable quality.
An added feature of CJ Pask Winery is its strict adherence to an environmental management system. One aspect of the system demands that all winery waste is returned to the vineyard and incorporated into the winery’s composting operation. The completed compost is then returned to the vineyard floor where the vines are able to utilize the basic ingredients of the compost.
Hawkes Bay Region, Gimblett Gravels, New Zealand
New Zealand lies at a latitude of 36 to 45 degrees in the Southern Hemisphere, making it the southernmost winegrowing country in the world! Today, there are over 10 distinct winegrowing regions spread across the country’s North and South Islands, with the majority on the East coast.
The wine region for CJ Pask Winery is actually a sub-region of the more famous Hawkes Bay wine growing area. Located on New Zealand’s North Island, the cleverly-named Gimblett Gravels is a most unique wine growing locale. The Gimblett Gravels appellation, covering almost 2000 acres, is strictly determined by the gravelly soils laid down by the old Ngaruroro River, which were exposed after a huge flood in the 1860’s.
Left were light, stony soils with almost perfect draining that became known as Gimblett Gravels. It is the only growing area in the world basing the ultimate designation of their district according to a tightly specified soil type. The area enjoys moderate rainfall and counts 2,320 hours of annual sunshine, nearly perfect conditions for growing exceptional grapes.
Kate Radburnd - Winemaker
As CJ Pask’s head winemaker, Kate Radburnd is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed winemakers. Kate has produced a large number of award-winning wines and is currently the Deputy Chair of the Wine Institute of New Zealand.
She has also been instrumental in the development of the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand Program that has led to CJ Pask’s inclusion among the first New Zealand wineries to achieve ISO environmental accreditation.
New Zealand: Fun Facts!
• The Maori name for New Zealand is ‘Aotearoa’ which means “the land of the long white cloud.”
• A kiwi is New Zealand’s native flightless bird. Kiwi is also a slang term for a New Zealander.
• Most of New Zealand’s wines are sealed with screw caps.
• Although it is about the size of Japan, New Zealand’s population is just over 4 million, making it one of the world’s least populated countries.
• New Zealander Sir Edmund Hilary was the first man to reach the peak of Mt. Everest. His face now adorns New Zealand’s $5 bill.
• Thirty percent of New Zealand is covered in forest.
• The oldest wine growing region in New Zealand is Hawke’s Bay, dating back to 1851.
• Almost three quarters of New Zealand’s electricity is generated by renewable methods, specifically hydro-electricity, wind and geothermal energy.
• In 1990, only 11 wineries existed in New Zealand. Today, there are approximately 430.
• The world’s first commercial bungee jump was a 43 meter leap off the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand in 1988.
• In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.
• Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region, with an international reputation for Sauvignon Blanc.