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What is our history?

Our story began in 1987 when Winemaker John Hancock met Robert and Robyn Wilson in their London restaurant Bleeding Heart. Over a bottle of John’s award-winning Chardonnay, the concept of a Hawke’s Bay winery was born. They were convinced they could produce world-class wines in this region of New Zealand.

They also recognised the outstanding potential of Hawkes Bay’s Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district and in 1993 Trinity Hill became one of the region’s early pioneers, planting grape vines on a barren plot on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River. This 18 hectare vineyard is now known as the Gimblett Estate Vineyard.

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The traditional Hawkes Bay grape varieties of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were planted. Convinced the terroir was equally suited to Southern European grape varieties, Syrah and Viognier were also planted.

The first Gimblett Road wines, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and Syrah, were released in 1998; to critical acclaim and a number of awards

In 2000, a further 20 hectare parcel of prime Gimblett Gravels land was purchased, named “Gimblett Stones” planted in Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot plus areas of Tempranillo, Syrah and Viognier.

By 2001 The Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association was set up with 34 wineries and winegrowers from a “terroir”-defined area of the old Ngaruroro Riverbed, including Gimblett Road. Trinity Hill was and remains a founding member.

In 2002, the first vintage super-premium wine Homage Syrah was made. When it was released in 2004 it received critical acclaim world-wide. The 2006 vintage of Homage Syrah won the Supreme Award at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards in 2007.

John Hancock and Warren Gibson

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