Part 9: New Zealand's Central Otago region
Quartz Reef

Rudi Bauer with his wines


Austrian ex-pat Rudi Bauer is one of the most talented and respected winemakers in Central Otago. Rudi started out working for Rolfe Mills at Rippon (a recently tasted bottle of Rippon Pinot Noir 1990 was made by him, and was showing beautifully), and then left the region in 1992 to work for Giesen, before returning to set up his own venture in Central.

He founded Quartz Reef in partnership with Clotilde Chauvet (of Marc Chauvet Champagne), John and Heather Perriam, and Trevor Scott in 1996, initially using contracted vineyards, but now the wines are based on 30 hectares of vines in the Bendigo subdistrict: a 15 hectare north facing slope with clay, fine gravel and quartz soils (largely Pinot Noir, but also with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and more recently some Grüner Veltliner), and a 15 hectare vineyard adjacent to this with sandy loam soils (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris). These vineyards are now operated biodynamically.

As well as making a stylish, structured Pinot Noir that is among the region’s best, Quartz Reef is also a sparkling wine specialist


Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2002 Central Otago
Beautifully open, sweet pure nose with cherries, herbs and a bit of spiciness. The palate has warmth and smooth open fruit. Quite sweet with nice purity and a bit of spicy evolution. Stylish stuff. 92/100

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2003 Central Otago
Some herbs and spice here on the nose. Nice sweet, slightly herbal fruit, with a bit of plumy savouriness.

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2004 Central Otago
Lovely liqueur-like cherry sweetness to the nose. Open and perfumed with some subtle herbiness. The palate has a warm spiciness and nice structure. Evolving nicely with a savoury edge to the sweet fruit. 92/100

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2005 Central Otago
Lovely dense warm spicy nose with dark cherry fruit and nice density. The palate has notes of ginger, spice and herbs. Really stylish with nice density to the dark fruits. Apealing savoury spicy notes. 93/100

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2006 Central Otago
Warm spicy nose. Palate is herby and quite dense with some spiciness. Real structure here under the fruit. Potential for development. 94/100

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2007 Central Otago
Superbly elegant nose is pure, smooth and has sweet cherry fruit notes, as well as nice spiciness. The palate is fresh and pure with a lovely structural dimension to the fruit. Good combination of weight and elegance. 93/100

Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionelle NV Central Otago
A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Toasty and focused on the nose with some crisp lemony notes. The palate is bright and fresh with taut, linear character and a bit of toasty richness. 91/100

Quartz Reef Pinot Gris 2008 Central Otago
Nicely textured with with pure, bright, subtly grapey fruit. Pure, simple but attractive. 88/100

Felton Road
Mount Difficulty
Pisa Range 
Gibbston Valley
Quartz Reef

Wines tasted 02/10  
Find these wines with

Back to top