Top 10 extraordinary vineyards
25th July, 2016 by Lauren Eads
6. Rangiroa vineyard, Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia
Vin de Tahiti is French Polynesia’s only wine label, with its vineyard planted on the island of Rangiroa, in the Tuamotu Archipelago, to the north of the region’s biggest island, Tahiti.
Located in the south Pacific, the Tuamotu archipelago in French Polynesia includes over 100 islands and atolls (a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands formed of coral) and is more than 5,000km from the nearest continent.
Known as “the island of immense sky”, Rangiroa is one of the largest atolls in the region, with its vines are planted at the end of a road lined with coconut trees just yards from its tropical seas. The eight hectare vineyard currently produces 40 000 bottles per year comprising a number of white wines (blanc sec, blanc de corail and blanc moelleux) and a rosé (Nacarat).
Irrigation is made possible by wells dug at the lowest point of the plot that reach the water table. More crucial for winemakers working here is the vine’s natural cycle given that the Polynesian climate does not include a cold season. The time of blossoming, maturing and harvesting is therefore determined by the level of sun exposure and the pruning carried out, rather than the changing seasons. Pruning kick starts the vines cycle, two harvests per year (May and December), referred to as austral winter and austral summer harvests.