Englishmen Robert Bird planted the first vines in this small valley and constructed the Glenvale Winery in 1933. Included within this he built some concrete fermentation vats which are still in use today. The main focus of production was fortified wines. This changed in the 1970's with the creation of the Esk Valley brand. This brand was aimed at producing a range of top quality table wines. During the over-production and price-wars of the 1980's sadly Glenvale fell by the wayside and was eventually purchased by Villa Maria Estates. Over the last twenty years Esk Valley, now run as an independent Hawke's Bay winery, has seen some major development including the introduction of new stainless steel tanks and better care in the vineyards.
Esk Valley sources fruit from two main areas; Hawke's Bay and Marlborough. Hawke's Bay includes the famous Gimblett Gravels; an area of sand, silt and free draining, highly infertile gravel. This is perfect for producing high quality red grapes. Marlborough has long been known for it's superb Sauvignon Blanc.
In a country dominated by brands and own label wines Esk Valley stand out as a solid and high quality independent producer. With one of New Zealand's most experienced winemakers at the helm these wines just keep getting better and better.
Esk Valley produce a range of wines and obviously the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is of very high quality. The Verdelho and Gimblett Gravels Bordeaux blend also show the originality and creativity the winery possesses.