Wine Makers Profile

The founder of the Hettinga EstateRimmer Hettinga
Rimmer Hettinga is a native of Friesland in the north of The Netherlands.
He comes from a long line of landowners, the Hettinga Family of Boalsert. After studying agriculture at Emmeloord in The Netherlands he joined Rhφne Poulenc and became involved in grape growing and wine making in the Alzac and Pfalz (Winestrasse) regions. Some years later he left the wine industry but the desire to have his own vineyard and winery never left him. The opportunity to realize a dream finally arose when he emigrated to New Zealand in 1999. After much consideration he established his vineyard in Hawke's Bay, because of it's reputation as the best place for red and white wine production in New Zealand.

Hettinga Estate Vineyard

Hettinga Estate is a boutique winery, founded in 2000 on the former Bute orchard
in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.

The Estate covers approximately nine hectares, of which eight hectares are planted with vines, producing an average 80,000 litres of wine per year.
Our choice of location was mainly due to the excellent Heretaunga soil; the legacy of an ancient riverbed. This soil is mainly sandy - loam, number six, well drained with a ground water table of 1300 - 2300 mm below surface. Soil type and local conditions provide an excellent combination for the production of premium wines with rich flavour. Annual climate differences, the flowering period, soil management, water supply, leaf plucking, thinning, chicory between the rows and time of harvest allow for subtle variations per vintage.

Hettinga Estate Vineyard

Our vines and rootstock were selected using our previous experience from Europe and with the advice of NZ grape specialists. The vines, which originate from Corban in Auckland, are established on a mixed clone system with a row spacing of 2.5 meters arranged North to South with 6.6 metres for each vine to grow.

An average brix level of 22 is achieved with planned leaf plucking and fruit thinning. After extensive land clearance, vine planting began in October 2000 in time for the first growing season. The soil quality and weather conditions during the first season were very favorable in establishing the vineyard and consequently the first yield in 2003 was good looking, with great quality, taste and bouquet. 40% of the Hettinga Estate production is red wine. In 2004 we produced our second vintage in four varieties with a harvest of approximately 11 tonnes of grapes per hectare.

Our selected grapes for White wine production are Chardonnay (four acres) Gewurztraminer (three acres) and Sauvignon Blanc (five acres). For the reds we have Malbec (one acre), Merlot (eight acres) and Cabernet Franc (one acre). The Malbec has been selected to produce a wine with good colour and the Cabernet Merlot is a blend of the Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes.

The processing, fermenting and bottling is a co-operation with other vineyards, undertaken with careful monitoring by the HETTINGA ESTATE. We select the production source depending on the particular skills of each winemaker, the different needs of the selected grapes and harvest conditions.

Awards Our 2003 wine received an award in 2004 for the best quality wine in its price range. The Sauvignon Blanc received bronze in 2005. All the HETTINGA ESTATE wines are exported to Europe and China and in NZ the wines are sold as boutique wines by distributors and at cellar door sale. In Februray 2008, the Malbec Merlot received the gold award for the best buy in its price range and consumers choice through TiZ Wine New Zealand.