The 23 acres slope very gently to the north east and enjoy adequate rainfall with lots of sunshine.
Welcome to Kerr Farm Vineyard. Jaison Kerr.
We purchased the vineyard in 1989. Our interest in wine and grape growing was the driving force for us, we were particularly inspired by the potential offered by the Auckland region to produce wine with alternative varietal characters to those of other regions.
At first we concentrated on the bringing the vineyard up to date, we removed old hybrid vines and increased our plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage, and Chardonnay. We also added Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah to our vineyard. Much of our crop is still produced from the mature original vines. We understand that our Pinotage vines are some of the very earliest to be established in New Zealand.
Gardens at Kerr Farm Vineyard
1995 was the first year of wine making for Kerr Farm Vineyard. We produced about 900 cases that year and since then have increased our production slowly and steadily to our current output of about 2500.
We decided our wine style should reflect the distinctive Kumeu regional influence and asked our winemaker to make Kerr Farm wines with a predominance of the varietal fruit characteristics. The Auckland area produces wine with somewhat more tropical flavours than other regions of the country.
We are very pleased to have Pinotage, we like to be able to offer something different from the most popular Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
We have been rewarded with medal success in New Zealands major wine competitions and also performed well in tasting and ratings in the most influential food and wine magazines.
Our label too, has created interest and won a gold medal for design and printing excellence in our national printing awards.
Kerr Farm Cabernet Sauvignon ready for harvest
We chose the pukeko as a feature of our label, it's the New Zealand/Maori name for the Asia/Pacific/Australasian species of the swamp hen. Pukeko abound on our vineyard, they are native to New Zealand.
White under-tail feathers bob and flick rhythmically as they walk. Pukekos are peculiar in the bird world, they are very communal. Crèches are set up to share the chick care and male and female adults participate in most tasks of their community. Herbaceous and audacious, they are a common sight on our farmlands and roadsides, can be troublesome in the garden and demanding too, if a regular titbit is not forthcoming. However Pukeko do no damage to our grape vines.
A few years ago we planted some wild flowers, mostly for aesthetic appeal. When an entomologist inspected our vineyard as part of an endeavour to establish a mix of wildflowers which would assist pest control, it became obvious that something interesting was happening. The flower plots were providing food and habitat for certain creatures which were predators for some of our vineyard pests. We have increased the wild flower plots and are delighted that something so good looking can be so beneficial as well.
We market our wine to specialist wine outlets as well as some restaurants, also by mail order and cellar door sales. As we are a small, boutique vineyard this situation allows us to know our customers personally and we feel this is very appropriate for a product such as wine. Most wine drinkers like to swap chat about wine and food.
Try our wines, Jaison and Wendy Kerr
In 1995 we relocated an old homestead on to the property. That building is now restored and part of it is our tasting and sales area. Visitors to our vineyard enjoy the opportunity to sit on the verandah and look out over the vines which have produced the very wines being tasted.
Wendy & Jaison