“Outstanding wines from a truly unique vineyard,
the best Cabernet Sauvignon in NZ”
Bob Campbell, MW
Himmelsfeld Vineyard - Beth's Story
Himmelsfeld is kept clean and green, and with their inquisitive nature they are also eager to be part of your Himmelsfeld experience.
Himmelsfeld wines are the product of the Moutere terroir; high sunshine hours, high UV levels, warm summers, cool autumn nights and the all-important famous Moutere clay soils.
Beth has a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about her vineyard, she believes strongly that “great wines are made in the vineyard”.
One of the woolly vineyard gardeners
ready to greet visitors
Statues of the spirits of the four seasons
watch over the vineyard
Himmelsfeld Vineyard was established in 1991 by Beth Eggers. It is nestled in the heart of the picturesque Upper Moutere. This boutique vineyard is one of the smallest in the country, which allows for the dedicated hands-on management that Himmelsfeld prides itself on.
The vineyard was planted out in one acre each of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The site of the vineyard was chosen for its north-west facing and somewhat barren clay hill top, which has allowed Himmelsfeld to work to traditional vine cultivation methods. The site was gently terraced to capture the all-day Nelson sun, and to facilitate exposure to ventilation to minimize disease risk.
Himmelsfeld has always had a “clean green” philosophy; part of this is using Romney sheep for weed control. Thanks to the 100 big woolly Romney sheep which have descended from her two original pets, Grace and Hanover, who began breeding in 1994,
A "clean and green" approach made possible by the
dedicated hands-on management of this tiny vineyard
Beth and her Eggers ancestors have their roots deep in the unforgiving clay of the Moutere Hills. The family arrived in 1859 to farm in the area. Beth chose Himmelsfeld (Heaven's Field) as the name for the land that would one day become the Himmelsfeld Vineyard when she bought it in 1991 - it was chosen to honour her German forebears. Traditional vine cultivation suits an environment with challenges and Himmelsfeld receives hours of sunshine in its North-facing position and is well ventilated - these two natural factors mean only the most minimal spraying is required and even that is organically-based.
The golden clay of the Moutere Hills has outstanding natural water-retention qualities which ensure uniform plant growth without the need to irrigate. Himmelsfeld fruit shows a high degree of ripeness and the excellent composition that is required for the production of high quality wines.
Himmelsfeld grow Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines and they are hand picked and produced by Himmelsfeld here in the Upper Moutere.
Long before organic became fashionable, Himmelsfeld's philosophy has always been to grow wines as organically and sustainably as possible with minimal intervention.
The wines speak of the site in the vineyard where they are grown, with minimal handling in the gravity fed winery and then bottled after having spent one to two years in French barrels (with the exception of the Sauvignon Blanc). They are cellared for three to four years before being deemed ready for release. All this effort and time so that you can enjoy some seriously fine wines.
The Wine Loft
During your visit, Beth will talk you through the wines and how the vintage was as you taste them, seeing and feeling the soil they are grown in will give you a better understanding of why Himmelsfeld wines are so unique to this site. Wines with a difference – cellared European styled wines that speak more about the part of the vineyard in which they are grown.
As a fifth generation German descendant of Hans and Dora Eggers, who arrived in the Moutere nearly 150 years ago, Beth can talk about the Upper Moutere and its history, in a setting which has a captivating rustic ambience, is personalised, and in which she hopes you will leave with a sense of belonging.
It is a story that tracks Beth back to roots sunk deep and long ago in the demanding clay soils of the Moutere area, generations before she was even born, when Hans and Dora Eggers arrived from northern Germany in 1859 seeking a new life in the beautiful rolling hill country there. Growing up in Sunrise Valley, Upper Moutere, on her parents’ hop farm, her father, Dudley Eggers, was a great influence with his lifetime of wisdom and knowledge.
Beth purchased 26 acres of bare land in 1991 in Gardner Valley, Upper Moutere. By the end of her first year of owning these green pastures she had developed the vineyard site, planted 3 acres of grapes and 15 acres of apples, as well as built a cottage. And so the story of Himmelsfeld Vineyards began…
Weddings and Events in the Chapel
On a cycling holiday through Europe in 1979, Beth immersed herself amongst vineyards and chapels and this is where her dream began.
While resting one day in the Black Forest, Germany she made up her mind to purchase a piece of land on her return to New Zealand and have a small vineyard and a farm chapel.
With the land purchased in 1991, a lot of good hard work over the years built in Beth a deep connection and bond with the land and vines. It was
in appreciation and thanks that the time came to build the Chapel.
The Chapel is modelled on the Chapel of the Knopfle farmhouse (1710)
in the Siedelbach Valley, Schwarzwald, Germany.
In 2006 the Chapel was Blessed and Dedicated by Monsignor Charles Cooper and Father Raymond Soriano with the approval of the Catholic diocese, Wellington. Monsignor Charles Cooper in 1992 had also Blessed the Himmelsfeld Farm – Heaven’s Field.
In the shade of the apple trees
which flank the chapel
The Chapel wreathed in blossom earlier this year
"Our wedding was made all the more special by the intimate surroundings and quiet contemplation we experienced at the Himmelsfeld Chapel - we will remember our ceremony here in this unique location for the rest of our lives together."
Ann and Paul - 2015
The wood panelled, intimate interior of the Chapel
looks out onto the Himmelfeld vines with the
Moutere Hills in the distance
"Walk the stations" - a candlelit walk around the stations of The Cross statues in the apple grove around The Chapel.
During Wine Loft Opening Hours
Feel free to wander the walk-ways, visit the tiniest farm Chapel in New Zealand, see the Sculptures and the Statues of the Four Seasons, take in the stunning views and just enjoy the Himmelsfeld Country Experience.
Be prepared to welcome the odd extra guest...
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