Hot summer days, a long growing season and free-draining soils have helped Hawke’s Bay become one of the premier wine regions in New Zealand. Anthony Joseph Vidal, a young emigrant from Spain, was one of the first winemakers to appreciate the natural potential of the area. He established Vidal Estate in 1905 and his spirit of adventure coupled with a lifelong commitment to crafting classic, elegant wines remains an inspiration to this day.
He was 22 years old when he arrived in New Zealand from Spain in 1888. His first eleven years were spent in Wanganui, working for his uncle, pioneer winemaker Joseph Soler. He then moved to Hawkes Bay where in 1905 he purchased a small property in Hastings. Once the stables that occupied the site were converted into a cellar, Anthony set about planting some grapevines. It was from there he became one of New Zealand’s early wine innovators and his success led to expansion with further vineyard plantings in Te Awanga and then Te Mata.
In 1979, New Zealand’s first winery restaurant – Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant - was opened at the original winery site. It was a milestone that has shaped the landscape of the New Zealand’s dining history. For over 30 years Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant was an icon in Hawkes Bay, a place fondly thought of and enjoyed by locals and a uniquely Hawkes Bay dining experience for visitors.