The Central Otago Wine Region
Found at the extreme limits of winemaking, Central Otago is found at 44° and 45° south and is home to some of the most southerly vineyards the world has to offer. Boasting breathtaking landscapes and an extreme climate, the local economy has garnered global recognition for its merino wool. However, over the previous decade, the majority of land has been shifted away from pasture, to being under vine.
Find out more information on the Central Otago Wine Region here.
Central Otago Wine Region’s History
In 1996 Otago only had 11 vineyards, while today the region has a legion over 100 strong. The incredibly balanced styles of wine that flow from the region aren’t something to be missed. Central Otago wine region is the first in the world to challenge Burgundy’s production of Pinot Noir.
Central Otago’s four primary sub-regions are Wanaka, Gibbston, Bannockburn and Alexandra. While all are situated relatively close together and each has the same stony free-draining soil base, their full profiles vary immensely. However, they are glacially derived and have rich deposits of mica and schist making it ideal for the production of Pinot Noir, which just happens to be 80% of the production there.
The excellent drainage helps retain mineral richness whilst temperatures can vary from 30degrees during ripening days to only 8degrees overnight. This swift shift allows the grape ripening process to stop more suddenly overnight, thus retaining all the wonderful natural acidity and fruit concentration this region can offer. To us this provides Central Otago with an intensely fruit-forward character no other region of New Zealand can replicate. Autumn frosts are a risk here too, so it’s just as well the growers down here have their wits about them…