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Hawke's Bay is New Zealand’s second largest and oldest wine region. The varied topography and wide range of soil types, from fertile silty loams to free-draining shingle, produces a considerable range of wine styles in this large region. There are 22 categories of soil types on the Heretaunga Plains alone, from stones to hard pans to heavy silts.
The ripening dates for a single grape variety can vary by as much as three weeks, from the warm red metal soils on the plains to the cool, higher altitude vineyards of central Hawke's Bay.
Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape variety, but the long sunshine hours attract a high percentage of later ripening red grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Kim Crawford winery has selected vineyards in the Ngatarawa Triangle sub region.