Welcome to Poverty Bay Wine

Bridge Estate

Gisborne Wine Cellar Door of the Year awardToday Bridge Estate is home to one of the few single site Bordeaux red wine vineyards in the country, but for over a century the Bridge Estate Vineyard at Matawhero was the horse paddock for the Bridge Hotel, an iconic local pub which, as with many large wooden hotels on the East Coast of New Zealand, succumbed to fire a decade or so ago.

Successive publicans kept their racehorses in the paddock and drovers, staying at the hotel after driving mobs of sheep up and down the East Coast, to the nearby Matawhero sale yards, would unsaddle their horses and leave them in the Bridge Hotel paddock overnight.

In 1985, flying in the face of a major grape-pull in the region, the Bridge Estate vines were planted by the legendary Matawhero winemaker, Denis Irwin, from the four traditional Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec.

These original vines, now amongst the oldest in the Gisborne region and in New Zealand, continue to flourish in the renowned Matawhero silt loams producing wine of great intensity and dignity.

Today Bridge Estate remains one of the few single-site Bordeaux vineyards in the country, proudly hosting Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Semillon to produce distinctive  Bordeaux-style wines, complemented by our cosy Award Winning Gisborne Cellar Door, housed in 120 year old stables, providing tastings and European food to the discerning wine aficionado.

Poverty Bay Wine Estates Ltd

Poverty Bay Wine Estates Ltd draws its name from one of New Zealand’s most fertile and temperate horticultural plains, described somewhat inaccurately by Captain James Cook in 1769, as “Poverty Bay”.

Cook’s faulty assessment may have been based more on the unfriendly reception from the local tribes than a detailed analysis of climate and growing conditions around Gisborne.
Now more than 230 years later the Poverty Bay plains produce some of New Zealand’s finest red and white wines, as well as fruit and vegetables of all descriptions, year round.

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