Gisborne, the first city in the world to see the sun each day, is located on the sunny East Coast of the North Island.
Gisborne's climate is generally characterised by warm summers and mild winters. Gisborne is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand with average yearly sunshine of around 2200 hours.
The region's annual rainfall varies from about 1000mm near the coast to over 2500mm in the higher inland country.
Temperatures of 38°C have been recorded and an average 65 days a year reach a maximum of over 24°C. Gisborne has bountiful sunshine but it can also suffer from frequent autumn rainfall.
The key grape varietals grown in Gisborne include those that need plenty of sunshine but ripen early on in the autumn, like Chardonnay. This is the varietal most planted by Villa Maria Estate in the Gisborne region.