About Dry River
The name Dry River carries an historical significance as the name of one of the earliest Wairarapa sheep stations (ca. 1877). This was later sold off by the Seddon government and renamed Dyerville, leaving the renamed Waihora River (circa 1900) and the renamed Dyerville Rd (1994) – both after Dry River – as the only reminders of this part of our pastoral farming history.
In 1979 Neil and Dawn McCallum planted a vineyard a few kilometres from Dyerville in a very dry, gravely and free-draining area now called the ‘Martinborough Terrace’ and they took the name Dry River for the vineyard and wines in what was to become another chapter of Martinborough’s farming history.
Their dream was to produce individual, high quality regional wines which faithfully reflect the ‘terroir’, vintage and are suitable for cellaring.
Free-draining river gravels on stony subsoils-very similar to Burgundy.
Martinborough is a wine region (with an appellation pending under the recently introduced New Zealand Geographical Indications system) in the south of North Island, New Zealand. Recognised as one of New Zealand’s premium regions for Pinot Noir, the deep river gravels of the “Martinborough Terrace” and the Te Muna Valley have proven perfect for growing many grape varieties including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah.
An early settler, William Beetham, first planted grapes in the region in the 1880s but it wasn’t until 1979 when a soil survey was done-and Martinborough was found to have similar climatic characteristics to Burgundy-that planting kicked off. Martinborough provides only 1% of New Zealand’s total volume of wine and lies one and a half hours drive from the nation’s capital Wellington.