The Fairhall-Brancott Valley is home to some of the original grape plantings in Marlborough. Two aquifer systems exist in the area: a shallow riparian aquifer associated with the Fairhall River gravels, and the Brancott Aquifer at depths of 20 metres or more.
The Fairhall River Gravels Aquifer is dealt with in more detail on a separate page.
Groundwater is used for a variety of purposes including drinking water, vineyard irrigation and stock supply.
The photograph is from the early 1980s, looking southward to the ranges before the widespread conversion of pastoral farms to viticulture.
The aquifer has a semi-confined structure formed of clay-bound gravels.
Aquifer recharge originates from rainfall and leakage from the Fairhall River. However, this river is ephemeral for much of the summer.
The long-established vineyard through the middle section of the valley is watered from wells located several kilometres to the north.
Wells commonly intercept basement rock in the Wrekin Road area, but the thickness of alluvial gravels is probably several hundreds of metres thick in the more northern areas.