Hinton Estate Vineyard - Profile and People

Hinton Estate Vineyard was established by the family that has grown premium fruit in Central Otago, New Zealand for the last five generations. The vineyard is located in Earnscleugh, near Alexandra, high above the orchards on steep north-facing slopes in well drained schist soils.

The Hintons planted Pinot Noir in 1999 as well as a small trial plot of Merlot. The first vintage of Pinot Noir was produced in 2002. The family has, however, had some involvement with grapes prior to the recent plantings.

Table-grapes were grown for decades in a glasshouse "vinery" from the 1930's onwards. An experimental plot of vines planted outside in the 1940's was abandoned - one of the reasons being the difficulties brought about by the, at the time, uncontrollable rabbit plague.

Central Otago has a unique microclimate well suited to growing the notoriously complex Pinot Noir grape variety.

The Hintons have since planted more Pinot Noir along with Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viogner and Gewürztraminer.


The first orchard block was bought in 1910, and since then the family has been primarily involved with the growing and marketing of premium quality pip and summerfruit. Cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, apples and pears are grown to supply both local and export markets. Valuable experience of growing methods, conditions and terrain have been gained over many generations.

Nigel & Elisabeth Hinton developed the vineyard and winery along with their son Howie and his wife Sarah. Howie is the winemaker, obtaining his oenology and viticulture degree with distinction at Lincoln University. He and Sarah worked the 2001 vintage in California where they met Kenneth Juhasz, a winemaker in the Napa Valley. Kenneth came and helped as the consultant winemaker with the 2003 and 2004 vintages.

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Wine and Cherry Gift Packs

Alexandra Tasting Room
Tasting Room in Alexandra - Right on the Rail Trail

Hinton's RestaurantThe Hinton family's restaurant and function venue in Christchurch

Hinton Family
In the "Vinery" - 1945