Central Otago Wine


Cental Otago, located on the tip of New Zealand’s South Island is the world’s highest and most southerly wine region. It took quite some time to catch on. While wine-makers knew the cool, very dry climate must be good for something, they had a hard time figuring just what that might be. But by the late 1980s and 90s, it was clear, Pinot Noir was it. 
The summers in Central Otago are very hot and dry, while the winters are extremely cold and prone to early frost. Most of the grapes are planted on the north-facing side of high slopes to ensure the best sun exposure and limit frost potential. The hot days and cool nights ensure a long growing season and well-balanced grapes, given a further boost by the free-draining schist soil prevalent in the region. 
The Pinot Noir from Central Otago has a particular power and grace, with good fruit, earth, mineral and acid balance, though there is definite vintage variation. Other popular varietals grown are Chardonnay Read more »

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Varietals Produced in Central Otago View all

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Gewürztraminer

    Gewürztraminer’s direct and obvious charm has made it a popular varietal in almost every corner of the wine world. Ex...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Popular Wineries in Central Otago View all

  • Waitiri Creek

    Waitiri Creek was established in 1993 with one vineyard and now harvests fruit from vineyards thr...

  • Nevis Bluff Vineyard

    Our wines are created by Dean Shaw of The Central Otago Wine Company (COWCo) in Cromwell. Dean is...

  • Rockburn Wines

    Rockburn produces premium wines of intense varietal characteristics in Central Otago, the world’s...

  • Amisfield

    Amisfield is a specialist producer of Pinot Noir, aromatic whites and Methode Traditionelle spa...

  • Leaning Rock Vineyard

    Our vines are grown on a steep north facing river terrace underlain by very free draining soils. ...

  • Domaine Jaquiery

    Domaine Jaquiéry is a specialist Pinot Noir vineyard situated in the cool climate viticultural re...

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