The afternoon sea breezes help moderate the temperature and give a temperate climate to the region.
Even winter is pleasant, with ground frosts occasionally as low as -10°C (14°F), followed by warm sunny, blue sky days. Nelson's annual rainfall is generally concentrated in the winter months but is always a welcome relief following the dry summers and autumns experienced in the top of the South.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s Nelson was well known for its horticulture, with hops, tobacco and apples being key to the region's economy. Hermann recognised that this was the perfect location to plant vines. It was also a region of artisans and is still regarded the art capital of New Zealand today with potters, painters, jewellers, glass blowers, winemakers and brewers making the region their home.
1976 saw Hermann and Agnes’ first harvest with five distinctive varietal wines being made that first vintage – Riesling, Sylvaner, Chardonnay, Müller-Thurgau and Refosco.
Wine sales were entirely through the tiny cellar door at the front of the winery and via mail-order to friends and family who had heard about the wines in those first years.
By 1980, with a new and quickly growing business, the family too had grown – now there were three small children in tow. Heidi, Christopher and Anna slept on rugs or in carry cots beneath the vines, or in a cot in the quiet corner of the winery tucked behind some tanks, while Hermann and Agnes worked. Obviously, time spent in the vineyard from such a young age stirred an interest and today all three children are part of the family business.