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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

      2014 Mystery Central Otago Pinot Noir

      2014 Mystery Central Otago Pinot Noir

      Drop- Dead- Stunner. This is exactly what you want from a nice rich, plump Central Otago pinot noir. A large part of the fruit for this wine is sourced from this wineries extremely special single vineyard site. Whatever doesn't get used in it...

      Cracka rating100
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 St Bathans 'The Abbey' Pinot Noir

      2014 St Bathans 'The Abbey' Pinot Noir

      St Bathans is a beautiful little gold mining town in Central Otago, lying just over the Pisa Range from Bannockburn and the rest of 'Central'. What makes this part of NZ special is all about that perfect combination of sun and dirt, with St Ba...

      Cracka rating100
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 Quails Run Pinot Noir

      2014 Quails Run Pinot Noir

      It's back! Three long years have passed since we last had a Quails Run Central Otago Pinot Noir here at Cracka HQ and boy are we glad to see it return! That delicious bright red fruit that had wooed us back in 2013 is there again, with this de...

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      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
      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
      2012 Misha's Vineyard Impromptu Pinot Noir

      2012 Misha's Vineyard Impromptu Pinot Noir

      A definition of impromptu is to be prompted by an occasion rather than being planned in advance, which sounds like the perfect situation to crack one of these puppies open! It's stunning value for a pinot noir, and shows appealing smells of black ...

      Cracka rating80
      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
      NV Akarua Rose

      NV Akarua Rose

      This bottle of pink bubbles is quite a rich number, with lots of strawberries, roast nuts and buttered toast on the nose, whilst the palate is plush and red fruited, with a creamy texture, fine bubbles, and a lingering, toasty finish.

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2014 Misha's Vineyard Dress Circle Pinot Gris

      2014 Misha's Vineyard Dress Circle Pinot Gris

      There's loads of nashi pears, red apples, flaked almonds, honeysuckle and subtle stone fruits decorate the nose, whilst the palate is lighter-bodied and rich in texture, with a kiss of sweetness upfront, pear and citrus flavours, poised acidity le...

      Cracka rating90
      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
      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
      2013 Shaky Bridge Pioneer Pinot Noir

      2013 Shaky Bridge Pioneer Pinot Noir

      Pinot Noir from Central Otago is starting to gain notoriety on the world stage giving the northern hemisphere a run for its money and this soft and silky wine from Shaky Bridge had us shaking with excitement. It’s perfumed in the black fruit spect...

      Cracka rating90
      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
      2010 Kawarau Organic Pinot Gris

      2010 Kawarau Organic Pinot Gris

      If you’ve not tried a Pinot Gris from Central Otago, we think you should, even more so when you realize the fruit is organic so it will make your drinking seem more virtuous. This comes from Kawaurau in Central Otago, where winemaker Dean Shaw bel...

      Cracka rating70
      Region: Central Otago
      2010 Kawarau Reserve Chardonnay

      2010 Kawarau Reserve Chardonnay

      The winemakers at Kawarau believe that wine should be fun, that includes making it and drinking it. We whole-heartedly believe in the latter and one sip of this reserve Chardonnay made from organic fruit highlights why. This is a big league flavor...

      Cracka rating80
      Region: Central Otago
      2010 Misha's Vineyard The High Note Pinot Noir

      2010 Misha's Vineyard The High Note Pinot Noir

      This offering from Misha's Vineyards certainly hits the high note in concentration and depth. It's no shrinking violet, and shows dark, brooding smells of dark berries and plums, with generous sniffs of mocha and savoury, licorice spices. The pala...

      Cracka rating90
      Region: Central Otago
      2011 Rippon Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

      2011 Rippon Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

      Here is a Sauvignon Blanc of texture, of minerality and of intrigue, the overt passionfruit and gooseberries of your average Kiwi Sauv style swapped for subtle smoky complexity and a genuine sense of evolution in the Sauvignon Blanc style.

      Cracka rating90
      Region: Central Otago