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 (2) interview with Christopher Keys, Gibbston Valley

Yesterday I caught up with Christopher Keys at Gibbston Valley. He’s one of the more thoughtful winegrowers in the region, and I asked him how his approach to winemaking had changed over the years – he’s been making the wines here since 2006.

 

Before, he says, he was trying to impress people with his wines. He’s […]

Back in Central Otago

It’s so great to be back in Central Otago, in New Zealand’s South Island. Prior to the annual Central Pinot celebration, which starts on Thursday, I’m spending a week visiting producers and getting to know this region better. I’ve been here several times already, but there’s still much to learn. And as it’s such a […]

Two superb Central Otago Pinot Noirs from Akitu

A relatively new arrival on the Central Otago Pinot circuit is Akitu. Andrew Donaldson planted this vineyard in Wanaka back in 2002 on old schist, and the wines are made at Maude under the watch of consultant winemaker PJ Charteris. First release was 2012. It’s solely a Pinot Noir project, and just two wines are made […]

Prophet's Rock Vin de Paille

This wine deserves a mention, even if few will get to try it. It’s the first vintage of Prophet’s Rock new Vin de Paille, a ‘straw wine’ made from Pinot Gris grapes dried on racks in the vineyard barn for 45 days, and then whole bunch pressed. The resulting concentrated must is fermented using wild […]

Can outsiders help Central Otago Pinot Noir discover itself? A seminar with Ted Lemon, PJ Charteris and François Millet

Paul Pujol, Chair of Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration 2018

One of the highlights of the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration was a seminar focusing on how outside experience with Pinot has had an influence on the region. ‘This room is full of winemakers, most of who are from somewhere else!’ began celebration chair, Paul […]

Prophet's Rock Pinot Noir Cuvée Aux Antipodes 2015, a brilliant New Zealand/Burgundy collaboration

Francois Millet and Paul Pujol

Back in February, I had a chance to try this collaboration between Paul Pujol of Prophet’s Rock and François Millet of Comte de Vogüé in Burgundy when I was sitting next to Francois at the Mornington Peninsula Pinot Celebration. I didn’t get to take a note, so I was glad […]

New Zealand Pinot Noir: some favourites from Central Otago and Waitaki

Continuing my round up of top Pinot Noirs from the recent New Zealand trip, here are some favourites from Central Otago, with a couple from North Otago’s Waitaki thrown in too. I’ve been coming to Central Otago regularly since 2010, and there’s been a steady evolution. This is unsurprising: after all, the first commercial wine […]