Attention to detail, hard work and an absolute commitment to quality are the hallmarks of both our viticulture and winemaking.
With high sunshine hours and low rainfall Hawke's Bay is perfectly suited to Viticulture.
Soil and Climate
We tread as lightly as possible on the earth
At Elephant Hill we have a strong drive and belief in sustainability and the preservation of the land.
We’re passionate about caring for the land that has been entrusted to our care and we tread as lightly as possible on the earth. Water is one of our most precious resources and we have installed our own state-of-the-art biological water treatment system that allows us to recycle winery waste water back into valuable clean water. Wildflowers are planted in the vineyards and creek banks to contribute to the beauty of the property and attract beneficial insects for biodiversity. All our vineyards are 100% accredited by Sustainable Winegrowers of New Zealand (SWNZ).
Inspired by the Pacific Ocean, Cape Kidnappers and the natural beauty of the Te Awanga coast, the foundation of the design of Elephant Hill is built on an ethos of respect for the environment and landscape.
Our desire has always been to build a destination and create facilities of the highest world class technical and artistic calibre. These two characteristics are the essence of growing grapes and crafting wine.
The driving principles of our architecture is to evoke a sense of relationship through a common link of shape, colour and detail to unify the “family” of estate buildings and create harmony through shape, colour and details. The function of the estate buildings is understood by the many processes of the cultivation and harvesting of grapes and of wine making. With respect to place, the priorities were to ensure the buildings fit into their setting and acknowledged the surrounding natural elements. The pre-aged copper wall cladding is significant in its ability to withstand the climatic conditions and is visually compatible with the colour of the ocean and the grape vines.
To simulate the ocean colours our buildings are clad in a natural green pre-patinated (aged) copper, not previously used in New Zealand, the material in this form is incorporated in some notable new European works and also used in historic restorative projects. Over time the effects on the copper exposed to the salt laden air will result in a continuing natural aged effect. The matt finish renders the material non reflective and negates any glare. Our buildings uncluttered rectangular shapes with a horizontal emphasis evoke a complementary sense of space and freedom, and blend into their background.
Proprietors Reydan and Roger Weiss first fell in love with the beauty of Te Awanga when visiting from Germany in 2001. Together they envisaged owning a state-of-the-art winery, merging the traditional values of wine making with an innovative approach and contemporary style to produce exceptional wines to savour and enjoy.
Andreas is the second generation of the Weiss family to be directly involved at Elephant Hill. After studying economics and engineering at the Technical University of Berlin a successful 20 year career in the banking industry followed with assignments in Germany, England and Brazil. In 2013 Andreas founded his own consulting firm, analysing and developing financial infrastructure set ups for municipalities in his home country of Germany. A change in direction then took place in September 2015 when Andreas was offered the fantastic opportunity to manage Elephant Hill which he gladly accepted. Andreas and wife Karina with their 5 children will set up home in Hawke's Bay. As CEO of Elephant Hill he has a passion and a commitment to quality while successfully running the business for future generations.
Steve Skinner, Winemaker
Although graduating with an economics degree followed by a promising career in Finance, Steve soon realised wine was his true calling. Moving to Hawke’s Bay, Steve studied wine science and worked harvests in Hawke’s Bay, France, California and Canada before securing his dream job at Elephant Hill.
Ashley Jones, Head Chef
Ash began his culinary career at the acclaimed ‘Jaspers’ and sister restaurant ‘Essence’ in Sydney. These formative years gave Ash most of his culinary influence, inspiration and style. In 2006 the opportunity to work at Elephant Hill presented itself and Ash started as Sous Chef and within 18 months his exceptional skills were recognised with his appointment as Head Chef. Since being in Hawke’s Bay Ash has cemented his position and reputation as an extremely talented and creative Chef. In 2014 the Elephant Hill restaurant was awarded the prestigious Cuisine Good Food Guide Best Winery Restaurant in New Zealand, a great achievement.
Vince Labat, Global Head of Sales
After graduating with a Masters in Wine Business from The University of Adelaide in 2004 Vince worked in Australia, the UK and New Zealand gaining wide experience in wine marketing, sales and market development. The opportunity to work with an innovative and premium winery & vineyard and to live in the fantastic Hawke’s Bay was an easy decision to make.
Jon Peet, Viticulturist
Jon has spent the past 26 years working in a variety of horticultural and agricultural roles. His experience includes growing a large range of food crops in various parts of the world, and providing specialist environmental advice to the European food industry. Jon moved to NZ in 2002 to develop his growing passion for the wine industry, by developing and running his own winegrowing business. After a brief interlude of lecturing students for 3 years, he joined the team at Elephant Hill in 2013. Jon’s passion is to produce grapes of the highest quality that truly reflect the uniqueness of the place in which they are grown.