Cypress was planted in 2000 by the Lawson family on a small hillside farm of 6 hectares set above the famous Gimblett Gravels sub-region of Hawke's Bay. Their intention was to establish a terraced hillside vineyard producing limited quantities of Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay and Viognier for premium 'single vineyard' label. At Cypress the traditional methods of the old world growing regions are embraced. These techniques allowed Cypress to create premium wines from the extreme 38 degrees gradient slopes of the limestone and clay influenced soils of the Cypress hillsides. Down on the flats at the property, wines are produced from the stoney soils deposited around the base of the hillside, producing full bodied wines best enjoyed in their youth. The Lawson’s winemaker is long time friend Rod McDonald. Rod strongly believes that winemaking at its best is capturing and enhancing vineyard and varietal character. In 2006, Rod was awarded the “New Zealand Winemaker of the Year” and is currently Chairman of the Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers’ Association and a Senior Judge/Panel Leader at the NZ International Wine Show.