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

2013 Mt Difficulty Pinot Gris

2013 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
2014 Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc

While Marlborough may well be considered the beating heart of Savvy production in New Zealand, Central Otago is muscling in on the act with wines like this from Amisfield. This is a more complex take on the variety with punchy fruit and flinty in...

Cracka rating80
Region: Central Otago
2014 Maude Central Otago Pinot Gris

2014 Maude Central Otago Pinot Gris

The cool and dramatic backdrop of Central Otago is often translated into their wines. This wine was crafted using fruit from the Maude family vineyards in Wanaka and supplemented by grapes coming from the nearby Gibbston Valley. Varietal nose of c...

Cracka rating80
Region: Central Otago
2013 Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir

2013 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 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
2013 Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir

2013 Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir

This vintage has produced a Pinot Noir displaying opulent rich aromatics; lush dark fruits of the forest dominate the aroma and these are underpinned by sweet brown spice notes. The wine displays lovely elegance and flow with striking precision an...

Cracka rating0
Region: Central Otago
2013 Maude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Maude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Maude epitomizes the belief in the soil of Central Otago and partners Dan and Sarah-Kate Dineen have completed their vision by setting up a modern winery here using the best grapes in the region. The fruit for this wine comes from the Wairau Valle...

Cracka rating100
Region: Central Otago
2012 Ant Moore Pinot Noir

2012 Ant Moore Pinot Noir

Hailing from Central Otago, this is a rich fruit-bomb pinot noir that shows smells of strawberries, plums, earth and toast on the nose, along with a sniff of dried herbs. The palate is quite full-bodied for a pinot noir, with red fruit and savoury...

Cracka rating80
Region: Central Otago
2011 Archangel Riesling

2011 Archangel Riesling

Riesling revivals come and go but they have more of a chance to succeed if all examples tasted as pure and expressive as this wine from Central Otago. The region might be famed for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but this instantly shows us the potentia...

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
2009 Misha's Vineyard The High Note Pinot Noir

2009 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
2010 Ellero Pisa Terrace Vineyard Pinot Noir

2010 Ellero Pisa Terrace Vineyard Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is why we’re here. This is not an accident or a hobby. This wine exhibits intense floral, plum/cherry, spice and savoury notes, along with an abundance of supple and firm tannins. We held the wine longer in barrel to develop and round t...

Cracka rating0
Region: Central Otago
2013 Archangel Pinot Gris

2013 Archangel Pinot Gris

The Archangel philosophy is to celebrate special moments between family and friends that evoke special memories. Based in Central Otago, this small but impressive winery has turned its hand to the great white hope of the region. If Marlborough has...

Cracka rating90
Region: Central Otago
2011 Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay

2011 Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay

Is there a more celebrated winery in Otago? Possibly not. This wine certainly shows why Felton deserves the acclaim - a full flavoured, full of life biodynamic single block Chardonnay that is about as complex as is humanly possible. Top Chardonnay.

Cracka rating100
Region: Central Otago
2011 Maude Mt Maude Pinot Noir

2011 Maude Mt Maude Pinot Noir

Maude is one of the most exciting 'new kids on the block' in Central Otago, and this Pinot Noir is testament to that. It's a multi-layered little number that shows lots of fragrant cherries, plums and florals. Its quite full-bodied with some lovel...

Cracka rating100
Region: Central Otago
2011 Rippon Vineyard Jeunesse Young Vine Riesling

2011 Rippon Vineyard Jeunesse Young Vine Riesling

It is intriguing to hear that this is considered to be a simple wine, for it carries a delicacy of texture and a certain finesses that is often missing in 'new world' Riesling. Here that means a light, clean, just off-dry wine with fragrance and a...

Cracka rating90
Region: Central Otago
2014 Wooing Tree Rose

2014 Wooing Tree Rose

For a Rose, this is quite a musclebound number. Made from pinot noir, this is a dry style that shows lots of red berries and cherries on the nose, with just a hint of soft spices. The palate is lighter-bodied with a hit of sweet juicy fruits at fi...

Cracka rating80
Region: Central Otago
2010 Wooing Tree Pinot Noir

2010 Wooing Tree Pinot Noir

Looking to get in on the Central Otago action but don't want to spend a fortune? Start here! This is a classic Otago Pinot, with all the lovely ripe red fruit goodness and sappy regional highlights of the best wines, yet still without the huge pri...

Cracka rating100
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