Mills Reef is not strictly a Hawke’s Bay winery, except that it’s Vineyard is located in the Bay’s Gimblett Gravels appellation. This appellation is strictly determined by the gravely soils laid down by the old Ngaruroro River, which was exposed after a huge flood in the 1870’s.
The climate of the area is relatively dry and warm with summer daytime temperatures between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius warmer than in other Hawke’s Bay areas.
The winery was first established in 1989 in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, by the Preston family. Since then, the company has gone on to receive significant critical acclaim. Mills Reef Wines have won over 250 medals in both national and international competitions. Top of the winery’s range in terms of quality are its Elspeth branded wines, made from the traditional Bordeaux varieties, and Syrah.