The wines of Pasquale, Waitaki and Hakataramea Valleys
Impressive wines from this new region in New Zealand's South Island

Dr Antonio Pasquale did a PhD in philosophy at the University of Padua, Italy in a previous life, although his family had been involved in the wine business for a long time. He didn’t get any decent offers of employment as an academic philosopher, and so he moved to New Zealand in 1997. Now Pasquale has 30 hectares of vines in the brand new region of Waitaki. First vintage was 2006.

Waitaki is in the north of the Otago region (completely separate from Central Otago), where – unusually for New Zealand – there are limestone soils, as well as some alluvial deposits. Pasquale’s vineyards are in both the Waitaki and Hakataramea valleys (the latter is more alpine and has more limestone). The climate here is quite cool, with very cold winters but summers that can get quite hot.

Each bottle of Pasquale’s wine has an Oritain ( authenticity seal. Oritain go into the vineyards and take samples of the vines. They build an isotopic profile unique to the place and then make sure that the isotypes on the bottling line match the origin. 


Paquale Riesling 2010 Waitaki Valley
Lovely bright, pure, fresh lemony fruit with rounded texture and high acidity. Very bright with a mineral finish. Lively and pure. 90/100

Pasquale Alma Mater 2010 Hakataramea Valley
A field blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer from the Riverside vineyard in the Hakataramea Valley. Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer were co-fermented and some was aged in old barrels. The Riesling was fermented separately. Sweet, grapey, herby nose. Nice lively, pure fruit with some melon and grape notes. Lovely freshness and acidity to this multidimensional wine.  89/100

Pasquale Pinot Gris 2010 Waitaki Valley
Rounded texture, with grape and herb notes as well as lively acidity. Nice purity of fruit here showing acidity and sweetness in good harmony. 90/100

Pasquale Pinot Noir 2009 Waitaki Valley
Open, sweet and berryish, with nice cherry fruit aromatics. The palate is elegant and expressive with sweet cherry fruit. Really supple and elegant. A refined Pinot showing lovely fruit. 93/100  

See also:

Visiting Central Otago, New Zealand (series)
Visiting Martinborough, New Zealand (series)

Wines tasted 01/11  
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