Central Otago pinot noir New Zealand
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TOP PICKS

Lowburn Ferry Skeleton Creek Pinot Noir 2011
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012
Rockburn Pinot Noir 2012
Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2012

NEW RELEASES FOR DECEMBER

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2011
Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012
Peregrine Pinot Noir 2012

and many more click here for a full list of recent releases


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Peregrine Chardonnay
TOSQ Pinot Noir
Aurum Blanc de Blancs Methode Traditionelle
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir
Peregrine Pinot Gris
Ellero Riesling
NZ$195



Summer Fizz Special



Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle Rosé
NZ$30



ARTISAN WINEGROWERS OF CENTRAL OTAGO SAMPLER PACKS

  • 6-pack NZ$210
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LOWBURN FERRY SAMPLER PACK

  • 2 bottles Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2013
  • 2 bottles Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012
  • 2 bottles Lowburn Ferry Skeleton Creek Pinot Noir 2011
$270 for 6 bottles


5 Dec 2014

Lowburn Ferry Wines has capped a string of elite awards for its wines in the past fortnight with the announcement that its pinot noirs will be served in British Airways first class cabins from early next year.
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2011 will be on board on British Airways flights on the Asia-Pacific sector from March and vineyard owners Jean and Roger Gibson say the association with this premier airline represents a significant endorsement for Lowburn Ferry. They hope the first class patrons, being more or less a "captive audience" will learn more about Central Otago wines during their voyage, improving the profile of the wines in developing markets, particularly Asia.
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Central Otago wines were well represented in the recent Air New Zealand Wine Awards held in Hawkes Bay.
Pure Elite Gold medals (Outstanding Quality - 19-20 points out of 20) were awarded for: Mount Michael Pinot Gris 2014, Hawkdun Rise Pinot Noir 2011,Gibbston Valley Glenlee Pinot Noir 2013, Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2013. Pure Gold medals (Excellent Quality 18.5-18.99 points) went to: Akarua Pinot Noir 2013, Akarua RUA Pinot Noir 2013, Archangel Pinot Noir 2013, Desert Heart Mackenzies Run Reserve Pinot Noir 2013, Mondillo Pinot Noir 2013, Hawkdun Rise Pinot Noir 2012, Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2012, Hawkshead First Vines Pinot Noir 2011.

29 July 2014

Queenstown will play host to wine lovers and connoisseurs from around the world as local winemakers gather to celebrate the region’s acclaimed Pinot Noir wine during the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration.
Held January 29-31 2015, the event is in its 11th year and has established itself as one of the pre-eminent Pinot Noir festivals in the world. "We view this sale as a boost for the region, expanding the reputation of Central Otago wine around the globe as a top quality Pinot Noir growing area," he said. More info, and registrations....www.pinotcelebration.co.nz

24 June 2014

Northburn Station announces sale to Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH)

Northburn Station CEO Tom Pinckney announced that Northburn Station Wine Company has sold its vineyard and restaurant/function centre (The Shed) to Cloudy Bay Vineyards. Cloudy Bay is part of Moët Hennessy Estates & Wines, a division of Moët Hennessy. "We view this sale as a boost for the region, expanding the reputation of Central Otago wine around the globe as a top quality Pinot Noir growing area," he said.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wowed by Central Otago wine and food
Official royal tour photos: Copyright Woolf/Crown
14 April 2014

Hundreds lined the roads around Amisfield Winery & Bistro near Queenstown yesterday to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge before the couple embarked on a food and wine extravaganza sampling the very best of Central Otago wine and food.
Enjoying a spectacularly beautiful Queenstown autumn day with crisp blue skies, the Royal couple smiled and waved to the crowd of around 100 invited guests lucky enough to be at Amisfield to see them arrive including families from Central Otago wineries.
Exiting the car at the foot of Amisfield’s stunning Central Otago schist steps, the young couple were greeted by a welcome party including Amisfield owner John Darby, chairwoman of Central Otago Pinot Noir Limited Lucie Lawrence and Central Otago Wine Growers Association president James Dicey.
Mr Darby officially welcomed the couple to Amisfield and provided an overview of the winery, its history and wine varietals.
“It was an exceptional privilege to welcome the Duke and Duchess to Amisfield and Central Otago on a day of celebration for our region’s wine and food industry,” he said.
“The Duke and Duchess certainly seem to know and appreciate wine and really enjoyed taking the time to speak with as many individual winemakers as possible and understanding the regional foods that were matched with each varietal.”
Central Otago Wine Growers Association president James Dicey and Alan Brady –fondly known as ‘the Godfather of wine’ – talked about the history of the region and explained why it is so unique.
The Duchess and Duke listened intently and asked questions about the Central Otago region, growing conditions, viticulture expertise and the role of the winemaker.
Shortly after, the Royal couple ventured outside and spent some time walking through the Amisfield Lake Hayes vineyard soaking up the surrounding scenery. Mr Dicey and Mrs Lawrence escorted the Duke and Duchess separately around a marquee erected over the courtyard in which over 30 local wineries showcased their wines. which were available for sampling matched with seasonal local foods.
The menu –designed specifically for the Royal couple – included some of the region’s most famed delicacies such as Bluff oysters, Stewart Island salmon, Fiordland venison, local cheeses and seasonal Central Otago fruit.
“His Highness clearly has an interest in quality wine, particularly Pinot Noir, and was very knowledgeable asking lots of questions.... “He was extremely amenable and a genuinely nice person, very easy to talk to,” said Mr Dicey.
“It’s certainly a day I will remember for the rest of my life.”
“The opportunities the Royal visit proffers for the Central Otago wine industry is huge.” said Mr Dicey.
“We are still a young wine growing region in a country at the far side of the world, yet we punch well above our weight in the wine world.
“To have this many media interested in and talking about Central Otago wine brings such huge benefit to the region now and in the future.”


2 CENTRAL OTAGO WINERIES WIN Winestate Wine of the Year Trophies!
25 November 2013
Two Central Otago wineries have taken Champion in Class trophies beating entries from across New Zealand and Australia in the Wine of the Year Awards from leading Australian publication, Winestate.
Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2012 won Champion Pinot Gris and Lowburn Ferry Ferry Skeleton Creek Pinot Noir 2011 won Champion Pinot Noir for 2013.
Winestate Magazine's tasting panel sampled over 11,000 wines in total and more than 1500 in each category in blind tastings during 2013, before selecting the best 5 finalists from a re-taste of all the wines that had received 4.5 or 5 stars during the year.
...Download full press release pdf here






Dec 2012
2012 will go down as the year Central Otago firmly established its reputation as a producer of fine New Zealand wines, if the recent Trophy count is anything to go by.
Almost every winegrowing district within the Central Otago region has brought home a Trophy in the last six months - from Bendigo, to Alexandra, to Gibbston, to Wanaka, to Bannockburn - confirming every district within the region produces outstanding wines.
International Trophies include Valli’s success in UK, Akarua’s - both in UK and Hong Kong, Pisa Range Estate also in Hong Kong - not to mention Grasshopper Rock, Terra Sancta, Quartz Reef, Aurora, Mt Maude and BannackBrae’s, successes in taking out Trophies in major New Zealand wine competitions. Trophies were awarded not only for the region’s signature variety - Pinot Noir, but also for Riesling and Pinot Gris varieties.

The Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010, from Alexandra, was awarded the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy at a gala dinner in Wellington on Saturday.
It also won the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir Trophy. Grasshopper Rock’s vineyard is situated in the southern-most latitude of the winegrowing areas in Central Otago. Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said that the Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 stood out for its great depth of cherry fruit aroma, palate richness and multi-layered complexity.
“Pinot Noir is the most successful varietal class in the competition. The top wines are simply stunning, and a further endorsement of Pinot Noir’s suitability to making outstanding wines from many regions around the country. The wines from the outstanding 2010 vintage are of special note, and are showing even more layers after an extra year of age.”
Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011 won the Fairfax Media Champion Open Red Wine trophy at the Air NZ Wine Awards.

8 November 2012

Crops from some parts of the Central Otago region are likely to be lower this season following devastating frosts over the past weekend.
Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey said some vineyards suffered significant losses, with reports of temperatures plummeting to as low as -5.5 degrees Celsius in some areas, rendering frost-fighting techniques next to useless, he said.
Now for the good news:
The 2011 Pisa Range Estate Pinot Gris has been awarded TROPHY – BEST ASIA WINE & FOOD PAIRING – Thai at the 2012 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition held in Hong Kong.



Quartz Reef won trophies at two important New Zealand wine competitions last month.
First up was Champion NZ Sparkling at the New Zealand International Wine Show for Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Rosé This was quickly followed up with a Champion Sparkling Wine trophy for Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Vintage 2007 at The Spiegelau International Wine Competition in October.

Cuisine Magazine's annual NZ Pinot Noir tasting in the current (November) issue is top-heavy with wines from Otago. Top spot went to Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2010, from the Alexandra Basin, while the grapes producing all of the other Top 10 wines were grown in Otago:Tatty Bogler Pinot Noir 2010, Valli Gibbston Pinot Noir 2010, Valli Bendigo Pinot Noir 2010, Ceres Composition Pinot Noir 2010, Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2011, Carrick Unravelled Pinot Noir 201, Rock Ferry Central Otago Pint Noir 2010, Pasquale Pinot Noir Hakataramea Valley 2010 (Waitaki), Yealands Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 (Central Otago).
Other five star wines from Central Otago included: Gibbston Valley China Terrace Pinot Noir 2011, Judge Rock Pinot Noir 2010, Lowburn Ferry Skeleton Creek Pinot Noir 2009, Maude Pinot Noir 2010, Mitre Rocks Pinot Noir 2009, Pisa Range Estate Black Poplar Pinot Noir 2009, Terra Sancta Jackson's Block Pinot Noir 2010.

Akarua Winery's 2010 Pinot Noir has won the much sought after Red Wine of Show and Pinot Noir Trophy at the Five Nations Challenge in Sydney.

16 October 2012
Leading Central Otago winemaker Grant Taylor has won an unprecedented 3rd trophy for Best Pinot Noir at one of the world’s largest wine competitions.
Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 has been awarded the trophy for Best Pinot Noir at the 2012 London International Wine and Spirits Competition. A panel of 225 judges, including New Zealand’s own Jo Burzynska tasted entries from over 90 countries in a rigorous two-stage blind tasting, and deemed Taylor’s Pinot Noir to be the finest of all.
Grant Taylor is Central Otago’s most awarded winemaker having consistently won gold medals and trophies at major wine shows around the world since 1995.
He has previously received international trophies for the Gibbston Valley Reserve Pinot Noir 2000 and Bald Hills Pinot Noir 2005. However, Grant says this is by far the most satisfying achievement in his 33-year winemaking career. “To be awarded a trophy for a third time is a great honour in itself, but it being Valli, my own label and especially the estate vineyard that’s being recognised makes it much more gratifying,” he said.

And back home it was Central Otago which triumphed at the NZ International Wine Show held in Auckland last month.
Bannock Brae 'Barrel Selection' Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 won the Nissan NZ trophy for Champion Wine of the Show.


At the same show winemaker Jen Parr won the Nissan NZ Champion Winemaker of the Year. Nine wines that were made by Jen resulted in 4 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronzes, plus 3 Trophies including Champion Wine of the Show. Jen was winemaker for Olssens of Bannockburn until it was sold recently to new owners Mark Wheldon and Sarah Eliot, and re-named Terra Sancta. She is now head winemaker at Terra Sancta.

23 August 2012
With spring just around the corner Central Otago wine growers are completing pruning and maintenance tasks in readiness for the coming growing season.

Rockburn Wines has brought home the MIKE WOLTER MEMORIAL TROPHY for CHAMPION PINOT NOIR from the NZ Winegrowers Bragato Wine Awards in Blenheim this week. Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 was also named Reserve Champion (Richard Smart Trophy) at the awards which recognise the grower for viticultural excellence.
Central Otago gold medalists at the NZ Winegrowers Bragato Wine Awards:

Pinot Gris: Gibbston Valley Gold River Central Otago Pinot Gris 2012
Pinot Noir: Akarua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011, Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011, Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011, Bannock Brae Goldfields Pinot Noir 2010, Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010, Pisa Range Estate 'Black Poplar Block' Pinot Noir 2010, Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010, Two Degrees Pinot Noir 2010.

New Zealand is now the world's 10th largest wine exporter, despite producing only 1% of the world's wine, according to latest figures released from NZ Winegrowers.
The country's exports hit a record NZ$1.18bn in the past financial year, up 8% on the previous year, with volume up 16%, New Zealand Winegrowers chairman Stuart Smith said in the industry body's annual report
New Zealand is now the world's 10th largest exporter by value and 11th by volume, Smith said, 'despite accounting for less than 1% of global wine production'.

The inaugural reserve pinot noir from boutique Central Otago producer Lowburn Ferry has received an outstanding ovation from a panel of international tasters known as the Grand Jury Européen (GJE).
14 GJE tasters recently held a special session in Paris about the styles of various pinots noirs coming from various countries in the world : France, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, USA, Argentina, and Germany. Invited producers were asked to provide a wine representing a vintage between 2000 and 2010. The lineup of 33 international pinot noir wines included Lowburn Ferry "The Ferryman" Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 from Central Otago, and 3 other iconic New Zealand brands. ...more information here

14 June 2012
Bald Hills Central Otago Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 has been awarded gold medals at two highly prestigious competitions in the UK: the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), at which more than 10,000 wines are judged by a team of experts - and also at the 2012 International Wine Challenge (IWC).
Other recent Decanter award winners from Central Otago include: Gold: Judge Rock Pinot Noir 2010, Mud House Golden Terraces Pinot Noir 2010,
Silver: Akarua Pinot Noir 2009, Amisfield Pinot Gris 2010, Amisfield Wine Company Pinot Noir 2010, Archangel Pinot Noir 2010, Ata Mara Estate Pinot Noir 2010, Bald Hills 3 Acres 2010, Brennan Pinot Noir 2009, Folding Hill Pinot Noir 2010, Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2010, Maude Pinot Noir 2009, McArthur Ridge Pinot Noir 2010, Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir 2010, Peregrine Pinot Noir 2010, Peregrine Riesling 2008, Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2010, Rock Ferry Pinot Noir 2009, Surveyor Thomson Pinot Noir 2009, Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2009

8 June 2012
Fresh snow on the mountains over recent days. The snow dump that hit Canterbury missed Central Otago but we've had some cracker frosts!

15 May 2012


Last month's harvest at Zebra's Chinamans Terrace vineyard at Bendigo

Last month saw most of the Central Otago harvest come in - some 8-9000 tonnes of grapes, and wow, what a vintage! After a variable growing season, seeing some frost damage in parts of the region after spring snows, good even flowering and then a cooler and dampish summer, the finale was a spectacular "Indian Summer" which allowed the grapes some good hang time and saw many happy pickers, winegrowers and winemakers! With across the board lower than usual Brix levels (a measure of sugar content) in the grapes - Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey predicts the resulting wines across the region could be "very different" to other years. "Flavours arrived at lower Brix, which could see lower alcohol wines," he said. Mr Dicey said he had gone through weather records back to 1993 and last summer was the coolest in that time in terms of Growing Degree Days (GDD). "But we had heat at the right time, making for a very interesting vintage," he said.

Demand for Central Otago grapes was also high this year, particularly as some other NZ regions experienced reduced yields - down 30-50 per cent in some cases, because of inclement weather during the growing season and during flowering in December.

13 April 2012


Harvesters at Wooing Tree vineyard in Cromwell

Vintage 2012 is well under way in Central Otago.
The cool and rainy late summer fortunately turned into a typical Central Otago autumn with warm fine dry days and cool nights - perfect conditions for finishing ripening.

Coming to Central Otago this autumn / winter? As well as enjoying the spectacular scenery and the numerous activities going on, leave plenty of time for wine tastings winery visits.
If you need more information to plan your stay, click on the links below for downloadable maps, wine trail information, accommodation and more information:

11 November 2011
WINESTATE CHAMPION PINOT NOIR 2011 Australia/NZ -
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2010

11 November 2011
Lowburn Ferry Wines has added another major international award to its tally this week, bringing home the trophy for Champion Pinot Noir 2011 for Australia and New Zealand - from leading Australian publication, Winestate.
Coming from one of the smallest but brightest stars in the Central Otago wine industry, Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2010 was the top wine of more than 1500 pinot noirs from throughout Australasia tasted by the Winestate magazine panels over the past year.
Trophies were presented to category winners in Auckland and Adelaide this week. Owners Jean and Roger Gibson are ecstatic with the accolade, especially as Winestate is particularly influential across Australia and Asia which are key export markets for Lowburn Ferry wines.
Being released in the New Zealand market this week to cap off an award-winning week for Lowburn Ferry, Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2010 was also awarded a Blue-Gold Medal at the Sydney International Wine Show where gold medal winning wines are judged again as to how well they compliment foods to receive a blue-gold award. ...more information here

Appellation Central Wine Tours wins international wine tourism award

Award-winning Queenstown-based wine tour company Appellation Central Wine Tours has won an International Best of Wine Tourism Award in the face of stiff competition from established global wine regions.
Their win followed a jury meeting of the Great Wine Capitals (GWC) Global Network in Mainz, Germany last week.
GWC judges said ACWT won the award thanks to the excellent exposure and support it gave to wineries and other businesses in Central Otago, as well as the exceptional and memorable wine tourism experience offered to clients.
Appellation Central Wine Tours qualified for the international award by winning New Zealand’s Best of Wine Tourism Services award for the second year in a row.
...for more information on wine tourism in Central Otago, click here

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