Domaine Thomson Explorer Pinot Noir 2018
Availability: 4 in stock
This is an elegant, single vineyard and low intervention Pinot Noir from Central Otago. Lively floral bouquet of violets, with blackberry, plum, guava, spice, concentrated drive on the palate.
Our wine venture is named after David’s great-great-grandfather, John Turnbull Thomson, known as “Surveyor Thomson”. Thomson explored and mapped Central Otago in the 1850’s, naming many prominent landforms in the region, including Mt Aspiring, Mt Earnslaw and Lindis Pass. The beautiful mountains that overlook our vineyard in Central Otago – notably the Pisa Range and the St Bathans Range were also named by Thomson.
Domaine Thomson Wine
Indeed, there is a sense that in our Cellar Door and offices, Thomson is still watching over us today. He would surely enjoy a glass of Surveyor Thomson wine as a break from the simple fare of the province’s earliest explorers!
To those with a sharp eye, you will see that part of our corporate crest is an image of a theodolite.
This theodolite, and its wooden tripod, accompanied Thomson on each of his marathon surveys of southern New Zealand. With this instrument, Thomson produced the first maps of central Otago, some of which are on display for those who visit our Cellar Door, along with early paintings of Queenstown and Wanaka.
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. 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, with Central Otago being 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, but 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…