In 1997 an old lime quarry in Weka Pass, North Canterbury, was transformed into the now internationally recognized vineyard, Bell Hill. Marcel Giesen and Sherwyn Veldhuizen established the property by planting two hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the unique limestone soil and on north facing hillsides.
This was the perfect environment to create sophisticated, elegant wines of a unique character.
“We seek to reflect the characteristic expression of our site and soil in the wines we make, looking for consistent quality, fruit concentration and expression of terroir.” Bell Hill
Interview with Sherwyn Veldhuizen, Owner
What’s the story behind the name Bell Hill?
Bell Hill comes from its earlier life as a lime quarry and we chose to keep it when we purchase the property 21 years ago as from the southern side, the hill takes the shape of a bell/bell curve. The road we are on is the Old Weka Pass Road which was surpassed by the Weka Pass Road in the 1930’s. When travellers were coming through the Weka Pass on the old road into the Waikari Valley, this shape gave the hill its name.
What do you like to pair with Bell Hill Pinot Noir?
For food pairing, Pinot Noir is open to many options and the rules are less rigid than they used to be. The 2013 vintage is quite structured and although not a ‘big’ wine it is savoury and mineral with chalky undertones, we tend to pair with chicken and truffle, duck with hoisin flavours, hot or cold smoked salmon.