Day In The Vineyard with Greystone Wine

There’s no denying the folk at Greystone Wines are a fairly formidable crew. 2018 saw them named as Raymond Chan’s Winery of the Year, along with winemaker Dom Maxwell being awarded the prestigious title of Gourmet Traveller New Zealand Winemaker of the Year. But now Greystone have caught the attention of the wine world for another reason altogether: a small collection of fermenters, scattered throughout their vineyard. 


To see what all the fuss was about, we joined Greystone for their Day In The Vineyard. This annual event is a chance for Greystone to show their supporters what they’ve been up to, with an action packed wine experience that covers tasting, a tour, heaps of informative conversation and a long lunch.

This time around, it was also an opportunity to hear more about Greystone’s innovative Vineyard Ferment. This unusual venture started back in 2012, when Greystone winemakers began investigating the effects of fermenting Pinot Noir in the vines where the grapes were grown. The idea behind this move was to produce a wine that genuinely reflects a time and place: exposed to the elements and left to indigenous vineyard yeasts, rather than the traditional controlled method within the walls of a winery building.


When Dom presented this methodology and research at the Pinot Noir 2017 conference, he got a pretty big reaction. Greystone are one of the only wine producers in the world experimenting with this technique – something they do more for passion than anything else. The process itself is not very straightforward or streamlined – in fact as General Manager and founding viticulturist Nick Gill puts it, it’s “bloody hard work”. But so far, the gamble has paid off.

“Our approach has been, and always will be, to let the different elements essential to the grapevine sing in the bottle. We let the season and the soils have their say and nurture it through the winemaking process to show a style that will withstand the test of time.”
— Dom Maxwell, Winemaker at Greystone Wines

It’s an exciting and innovative move – but the team at Greystone remain as unassuming as ever. On our tour, we are the very first of the public to try the 2017 Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir – and we do so without show, sitting around on hay bales in the grass under the sun. 

Having tasted the wine in various stages of ferment as we wandered around the vineyard, it was pretty special to taste the real thing. And the verdict? Undeniably delicious.


All up, Day In The Vineyard is a spectacular day out. Featuring wine tasting straight from the barrel, a rundown of this year’s harvest and culminating in an epic lunch (beautifully prepared by Johnny Schwass) you’d be hard pressed to find a better weekend treat. Massive thanks to Greystone for having us along!

 For more info, check out this video.

The Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir will be available for purchase from the May 1. Grab yours here!

Peg White