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 […]

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 […]

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. […]