Central Otago (10) Rudi Bauer and Quartz Reef

Rudi Bauer, Quartz Reef

It was great to spend some time with one of the pioneering figures of Central Otago wine, Rudi Bauer. Fresh off the plane from the UK, I picked up a car, drove to Cromwell, checked into my accommodation and then spent four hours talking, tasting and walking through vineyards with him.

 

When […]

The First Date natural wine bar pop-up at Cupple Coffee, Hastings, NZ

On Saturday night, travelling companions Mel Brown, David Brookes and I popped into a natural wine bar pop-up First Date at Cupple Coffee in Hastings, Hawkes Bay. This was billed as Hawke’s Bay’s first natural wine bar event, and so we were really keen to check it out.

Food was from Restaurant Chimera, who are Auckland […]

Central Otago (9) Grasshopper Rock

It’s five years since I last visited Grasshopper Rock (see the full profile here), a small vineyard in the Alexandra district of Central Otago. Back in 2014 I commented that they were making some of the best value Pinots in the region. And they key to their success is that when Phil Handford and his […]

Central Otago (8) Chard Farm

With just a shade under 100 hectares of their own vineyards, Chard Farm are one of the larger players in the Central Otago region. Their beautifully situated home vineyard, at the end of a slightly terrifying 2 km track at the side of a gorge in Gibbston, is one of the prettiest I’ve seen, but […]

The New Zealand Wine Flight

Yesterday, Air New Zealand and New Zealand Wine Growers collaborated to put on a special wine flight over five of New Zealand’s wine regions. I captured the experience in a short film.

 

Taking off from Blenheim airport

Blenheim

Looking across the southern valleys to the Wither Hills

Where the Waihopai Valley (left) meets the Wairau […]

Central Otago (7) tasting verticals with Gibbston Valley

Christopher Keys, Gibbston Valley winemaker

This was my third time visiting Gibbston Valley, one of Central Otago’s pioneering wineries. Back in 1981 Alan Brady, who had previously worked as a journalist in Northern Ireland, planted 500 vines here. He was one of a small group who believed in the potential of the region, and this […]

Central Otago (6) Providore

Pete Bartle is the winemaker at VinPro, which is one of the two most significant contract wineries in Central Otago. He currently makes some of the highest-rated wines in Central Otago. Even though VinPro are a big winery in the region, they process only 800 tons through their winery each year, which in a New […]

Central Otago (5) the beautiful naturally made wines of Aurum

Aurum is one of Central Otago’s hidden gems. They are known in the region, but they don’t export. But these wines are worth seeking out. Naturally and sensitively made, they are serious expressions of place.

Lucie Lawrence

Aurum dates back to 1997 when Joan and Tony Lawrence planted the 45th Parallel Vineyard on the Pisa Flats. […]

Central Otago (4) Te Kano and their stunning new vineyard

Looking across to the Northburn vineyard

It’s always exciting to see new vineyards being developed. In recent years one of the most exciting vineyard projects in Central Otago has been the development of a large vineyard in Northburn, on the hills overlooking Lake Dunstan, by Te Kano. This is a substantial undertaking, and so far […]

Central Otago (3) Prophet's Rock Cuvée Aux Antipodes, with Francois and Paul

Paul Pujol and François Millet

Back in 2009 Paul Pujol went to do vintage at De Vogüé in Burgundy, with François Millet. Later, in 2013, Paul took François’ son as an intern, and François and his wife visited Central Otago. Since then, they have struck up a friendship and made a wine together from the […]