About the wine maker
Anthony Joseph Vidal, a Spanish immigrant who arrived in New Zealand in 1888, established Vidal Estate in an old stable block in 1905. One of the founding four wineries in the Hawke’s Bay region, itself the oldest wine region in New Zealand, Vidal is a pioneering winery and one that defines the region. Family-owned until the 1970s, Vidal was purchased in 1976 by Sir George Fistonich of Villa Maria, who has continued to enhance its reputation for quality wine.
In 1979, after Sir George had successfully campaigned to change the New Zealand licensing legislation, a winery restaurant was opened. This was the first of its kind in New Zealand and has enjoyed enormous success, being one of the country’s leading restaurants.
In 2013, Vidal received the Hawke’s Bay Winery of the Year award, as voted for by a panel of local and international winemakers and wine writers: the winery award is decided upon the quantity and quality of awards won by the estate’s wines tasted during the competition.
Winemaker Hugh Crichton, a self-proclaimed ‘amateur chef and food enthusiast’, spent about ten years working in Europe prior to starting his winemaking career at Vidal. Here, he developed a palate focused on a European winemaking style, as he explains, ‘I look to make elegant, balanced wines that make great partnerships with food’, adding, ‘it’s a joy to work with our high-quality Hawke’s Bay fruit which always seems to have a fantastic structural freshness.’
Vidal’s own vineyards provide all the fruit for both their Pinot Noir and the Gimblett Gravels Syrah. They own over a third of this premium growing region: the gravelly soils laid down by the Ngaruroro River were exposed after huge floods in the 1860s. Here on this 800 hectare flood plain, the vines benefit from a longer growing and ripening period due to the soil’s ability to retain heat.
During 2015 the labels will change to reflect Vidal’s heritage and their winemaking style.
Vidal is dedicated to environmentally friendly winemaking and sustainable winegrowing practices. A founding member of the Living Wine Group, a small club of wineries who gained ISO 14001 certification in 1998, Vidal is also a member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand and is BioGro certified.