Heres a look at the soil structure from the area in Waipara where we have our Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris vineyard. These soils are called Canterbury Gravels and are the predominant soil type along the western part of the Waipara Valley. Deposited during the Pleistocene period and more recently during the last major glacial advance. Quite a while ago in other words. Looking at the photo above you can understand why most vineyards in the area are very free draining - lots of stones and gravel with minor water holding capacity. The majority of the upper soils are Loess with plenty of deposited river gravel, silt and sand. Underlying this are layers of greywacke and argillite. Geological observation of the Waipara Valley began in 1855 although the major fieldwork from which most information is now derived was carried out in the 1950's.