Central Otago (16) Amisfield

Dr Stephanie Lambert, winemaker at Amisfield

There was a storm! Trees fell down! It was supposed to be summer, but this particular Friday night didn’t want to go to plan. Over dinner at Amisfield’s restaurant, a few of us gathered. Power was out so it was cold cuts only. And wine. Plenty of wine.

Amisfield are […]

Central Otago (15) Domaine Thomson

David and PM Hall-Jones are based in Hong Kong, but have two wineries: one in Central Otago, and the other in Gevrey Chambertin. In Central, they planted 14 hectares of Pinot Noir in 2000, and their label is called Domaine Thomson.

The view from the Domaine Thomson vineyard, looking down over Pisa to Lake Dunstan

It’s […]

Comparing New Zealand and Ontario Pinot Noirs

Yesterday I took part in a really interesting event in Toronto. It brought together 12 Ontario Pinot Noirs with 12 New Zealand Pinots in a blind tasting, and I was one of the three session leaders, along with John Szabo (who coordinated the tasting) and Cameron Douglas. We had different winemakers on our panel as […]

Sauvignon Blanc: comparing good examples from the Loire and New Zealand

 

Awareness days. There are just so many of them. Sauvignon Blanc Day is 3rd of May. Whatever you think about these awareness days for grape varieties, this was an excuse to hold – somewhat in advance – a unique tasting that brought together two big players in the Sauvignon game: New Zealand and the Loire. […]

Two Kiwi Chardonnays: Elephant Hill and Corofin

New Zealand is famous for Sauvignon, famous for Pinot Noir, but not yet famous enough for Chardonnay. Well, at least that’s what I think. It’s a grape variety capable of greatness in some parts of the country, and – more specifically, some parts of some parts of the country. This week I’ve tried two good […]

Central Otago (14) Domain Road

The home vineyard, Domain Road

Graeme and Gillian Crosbie were, like many Dunedin residents, drawn to Central Otago for summer sunshine. ‘Everyone came to Central Otago for their summer,’ says Graeme, who made his money as a property developer, ‘so we’ve had a house here since 1987. All our adult lives we’ve been interested by […]

Central Otago (13) Akarua

Akarua’s terraced 25 Steps vineyard in Lowborn: one of the most instantly recognisable vineyards in the region

Akarua is an important producer for Central Otago. In a region of small outfits, they are a reasonable size, and of late have been on a vineyard-buying spree. With winemaker Andrew Keenleyside (who fairly recently took over from […]

Central Otago (12) Domaine Rewa

Philippa and Yannick Fourbet

In a privileged site in the Lowburn subdistrict of Central Otago, Domaine Rewa – a small biodynamic vineyard – is turning out some very smart wines. And there’s a great story behind it, too.

Back in 2010, Philippa Shepherd (now Fourbet, but we’ll get to that later) was working for Deutsche Bank […]

Central Otago (11) Rockburn

The Gibbston vineyard

Dick Dunton, a heart surgeon from Dunedin, began what is now Rockburn when he planted a small vineyard in Lake Hayes back in 1991. He expanded this the following year by planting 10 hectares in Gibbston, and the winery was named Lake Hays. The core vineyard, 33 hectares in Pisa (called Parkburn) […]

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 […]