It doesn't look like much, but a dusty, weedy plot of land in the heart of Martinborough is a goldmine.
Winemaker Joel Watson says it's the nice layer of top soil and the free-draining river gravel underneath that makes the land perfect for growing the best grapes.
Centuries ago, a river moved through the Martinborough Terrace, leaving layers of silt and river rocks.
The conditions are ideal for growing Pinot Noir vines, which Watson has always believed Martinborough should be focusing on.
Watson, who fell in love with wine after his first taste of Chardonnay at the age of 14, is the chief winemaker at Luna Estate, a winery which operates two vineyards in the south Wairarapa town.
Luna Estate has just gone through an expensive process of pulling out much of its Sauvignon Blanc vines - which previously dominated its vineyards - and replacing them with Pinot vines.
About 70 per cent of the vineyards were white wine, but the workers at Luna are halfway through the process of removing those vines and replacing them, with a goal of having 85 per cent Pinot by 2020.
"We're real big believers in Pinot Noir. That's what Martinborough does the best," he said.
While New Zealand was better known for it's Marlborough Savs, and they deserved "their place on the national stage", it didn't mean the whole country should follow suit.
"Just because they do it well doesn't mean it should be for us. I really passionately think that Martinborough should be focusing on what it does best, and that's Pinot Noir."
There are few places in the world where Pinot can be grown, and where it can be grown well, he said.
"It's very, very tricky . . . the flavours are flighty and quite complex. It requires the fruit to ripen in a certain fashion for that to actually happen."
Pinot Noir grapes don't like a climate that's too hot or too cold. They like plenty of sunlight, and a long, slow, ripening period.
Martinborough, which sits in the rain shadow of a cluster of hills, is dry enough and warm enough to grow them just right.
Luna Estate was formerly Alana Estate and Murdoch James, but both were bought several years ago by New Zealand investor and wine enthusiast Charlie Zheng. He renamed the vineyards Luna.
"Charlie likes the moon because it's a unifying thing," Watson said. "Doesn't matter where you are on the planet, we all see the same moon."
Zheng's daughter is also named Luna.
Watson has more ambitions for the winery after the new vines are planted - he wants them to convert to organics.
"I think you get better fruit and I think it's a healthier way to farm, and I think it's better for the land. You're going to get better fruit and you're going to get better wine."
There is very little winemakers can add to their wine to enhance the flavour - yeast and grapes are about it. Oak barrels, which are imported from France and cost $1000-$2000 each, can be used to add flavour in the fermenting process, but most of the wine's flavour depends on where and how the grapes are grown.
"We're making wine, we're not making a drink."
Luna estate currently produces about 200 tonnes of wine each year, or 14,000 cases. They have a goal of producing 17,000 by 2020.
They export up to 30 per cent of their wines to China, Sweden, and Japan, and have plans to develop markets in Southeast Asia and Australia in the near future.