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      Central Otago

      Below are details about the Central Otago wine region of NZ. You can refine your search results by searching any of the links below.

      Central Otago
      Latitude
      Altitude
      200 - 400 m
      Growing Season Rainfall
      Mean January Temperature
      15.6 to 19.5°C
      Harvest
      Early April to late May
      Wineries
      38
      Website
      Cracka Rating 0

      About Central Otago

      Central Otago is New Zealand's most southerly wine region, as well as being its most inland and boasting the highest altitudes in the country. It has nailed its colours to Pinot Noir that occupies around 70% of plantings in Central Otago. Their success with the varietal seems to gain ground every year with wineries like Felton Road gaining rock star status. The first vines were planted back in 1864, but nothing serious happened until 1972, when an experimental vineyard was planted near Alexandra. This was followed with further plantings at Rippon Vineyard and Lake Wanaka in 1975. The first commercial release from the region was in 1987, a Pinot Noir from the Gibbston Valley winery. Located on the 45 parallel, the landscape of Central Otago is an untamed beast. Surrounded by mountains littered with lakes and gorges, it experiences the greatest seasonal temperature variation of any other wine region. This presents both a challenge and a gift to grape growers. Containing the sub-regions of Bendigo, Bannockburn, Wanaka, Cromwell, Alexandra and Gibbston; the climate is truly continental. The summers are hot and dry, whilst the evenings are cool and the winter months very cold. The region tends to have few disease issues due to the dry climate, and frost never seems to be a problem because most vineyards are sitting on steep slopes. The soils are dramatically different from any other region on New Zealand. The vineyards situated on steep slopes and terraces have their roots in dark schist rock, whilst others sitting on valley floors and lakes have siltier, sandy soils. Style wise, the Pinot Noirs of Central Otago are generally elegant and long-lived with intense black cherry fruit when young. Locals also claim the wines carry the aroma of the thyme that grows wild in the region. (Image supplied by Wooing Tree)

      Buy Central Otago Wines Online

      2009 Hell or Highwater Pinot Gris

      2009 Hell or Highwater Pinot Gris

      This is a rich, luscious style of Pinot Gris with loads of tropical fruit, think guava, peach, pineapple and lychee.

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir

      2014 Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir

      The Pinot Noirs of Central Otago are fast becoming firm favourites in our office and none hit the Pinosity factor higher than the wines from Mt Difficulty. The Roaring Meg is their entry level red, capable of delivering amazing bang for your buck....

      Cracka rating90
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 Mt Difficulty Pinot Gris

      2014 Mt Difficulty Pinot Gris

      Pinot gris is a fiece competitor to sav blanc, and it's no wonder when they are as good as this! It's a pretty pear and floral smelling wine that immediately tantalises the senses, and on the palate it's lush and almost creamy, with a smidgen of s...

      Cracka rating90
      Region: Central Otago
      NV Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle

      NV Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle

      If you are going to go the whole hog and buy proper bubbly then Methode Traditionelle bottle ferment is the only way to go as it gives the resulting wines texture, elegance, grace and loads of complex toasty brioche/croissant flavours. It is almos...

      Cracka rating100
      Region: Central Otago
      2008 Kawarau Estate Pinot Noir

      2008 Kawarau Estate Pinot Noir

      The Central Otago region in New Zealand is one of the most dramatic and inhospitable regions on the planet, yet they mange to make Pinot of immense purity. The Kawarau has the added bonus of being crafted with organic fruit to ensure that when pai...

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2011 Rippon Vineyard Jeunesse Young Vine Pinot Noir

      2011 Rippon Vineyard Jeunesse Young Vine Pinot Noir

      I think they underplay the quality of this Pinot Noir do Rippon for it is still a lovely wine of some weight and complexity. The joy of course is the black fruits and gentle lick of sweetness, the acidity firm enough to make for something of a com...

      Cracka rating90
      Region: Central Otago
      2013 Chard Farm River Run Pinot Noir

      2013 Chard Farm River Run Pinot Noir

      This is quite a lovely, elegant style of pinot noir out of Central Otago that isn't a 'fruit bomb'! Svelte, sweet smells of red and dark berries waft out of the glass, along with some dried thyme and subtle purple florals. The palate is medium-bod...

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 Rabbit Ranch Pinot Gris

      2014 Rabbit Ranch Pinot Gris

      Central Otago is turning out to be an appropriate place to grow grapes, considering its remoteness, hot days and cold night. A place of extremes it would seem, but capable of greatness and famed for its Pinot, Chardonnay and now Pinot Gris, as the...

      Cracka rating70
      Region: Central Otago
      2012 Bannock Brae Goldfields Pinot Noir

      2012 Bannock Brae Goldfields Pinot Noir

      This cheeky Central Otago pinot is already being weighed down with gold medals from NZ wine shows, and it's no wonder! It's a bit more earthy savoury than the 'Barrel Selection' pinot noir, but still has dark cherries and plums in the mix along wi...

      Cracka rating90
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir

      2014 Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir

      The original Felton Road Pinot Noir and now something of a bargain considering the prices attained for the single block wines. A typically pretty, juice and vital wine, this carries all of the fruity joy of Bannockburn Pinot Noir with style that v...

      Cracka rating100
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 Two Paddocks Picnic Riesling

      2014 Two Paddocks Picnic Riesling

      Owned by actor Sam Neil, this is no rich persons hobby farm. The wines from Two Paddocks are serious contenders in the wine world, and this bonny little riesling is no different. An abundance of limy citrus, white stone fruits and lemon sorbet ris...

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2015 Mt Difficulty Sauvignon Blanc

      2015 Mt Difficulty Sauvignon Blanc

      There’s no difficulty finding good Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, but it is difficult growing it in some of the most rugged terrain on earth. The good people at Mt Difficulty love a challenge and this aromatic white shows the variety well. It’s a...

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 Wild Rock Cupids Arrow Pinot Noir

      2014 Wild Rock Cupids Arrow Pinot Noir

      Central Otago is seen as the holy grail of New Zealand when it comes to producing world class Pinot. The folks at Wild Rock have some perfect vineyard holdings in this rugged region to produce wines that are as expressive and dramatic as the envir...

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2015 Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir

      2015 Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir

      Owned by actor Sam Neill, the Two Paddocks 'Picnic' is made for earlier drinking, and shows lovely aromas of ripe strawberries, fleshy plums and cherries on the nose, with hints of licorice and toast. The palate is medium-bodied and quite fruity, ...

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2011 Rippon Vineyard Gewurztraminer

      2011 Rippon Vineyard Gewurztraminer

      What is most interesting about this wine is just how different it is to most other NZ whites. You'd have to look in a European direction to find a similar wine methinks, which just makes this even more intriguing. A (just slightly) off dry Gewurtz...

      Cracka rating100
      Region: Central Otago
      2012 Kawarau Organic Sauvignon Blanc

      2012 Kawarau Organic Sauvignon Blanc

      People are fussier these days about the providence of their products, whether it’s a cut of beef or a glass of wine. This wine from Central Otago in New Zealand’s south is all about the fruit and it makes a real difference to the purity on the pal...

      Cracka rating70
      Region: Central Otago
      2011 Misha's Vineyard Verismo Pinot Noir

      2011 Misha's Vineyard Verismo Pinot Noir

      Dark ruby with intense pure aromas of crushed cherries and spice overlaid with classic Pinot Noir notes of violet, this wine has a full but beautifully supple palate with sweet ripe fruits balanced by a fresh mineral and cedar spice edge”. Olly Ma...

      Cracka rating90
      Region: Central Otago
      2011 Kawarau Reserve Pinot Noir

      2011 Kawarau Reserve Pinot Noir

      Although it says reserve, there’s nothing reserved about this Pinot from Central Otago. It’s all class in a glass thanks to the quality of organic fruit it comes from. Treat yourself to an indulgent dish of duck to do this wine justice, as it mixe...

      Cracka rating90
      Region: Central Otago