Established in 1896, Te Mata Estate remains family owned, producing internationally recognized wines exclusively from its Hawke’s Bay vineyards. A temperate maritime climate with low rainfall, due to the rain shadow from mountains to the west, ensures Te Mata’s sites make the most of every vintage. At the heart of Te Mata Estate are the Havelock Hills Vineyards - the first legally-protected vineyards in New Zealand. Te Mata has five sites on these free draining, north-facing slopes. Soils to the east are mostly sandy loam over a sandstone base, and towards the west are sandy loam over a thin layer of clay and a silica pan. The distinctive shape of the hills is due to their comparative youth, in geological terms. At the meeting point of two tectonic plates, sandstone has been pushed up then worn away relatively quickly leaving a landscape of steep and gentle slopes, and terraces ideal for grape-growing. Under vine for over 120 years, and including some of the oldest grape growing sites in New Zealand, the Havelock Hills are protected for their distinct character, special ambience and unique viticultural heritage.