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 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 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
2014 Amisfield Pinot Gris

2014 Amisfield Pinot Gris

Hailing from Central Otago, this is a sumptuous, lush,ripe,  off-dry style of gris that would be the bees knees with Thai food. Aromas of fleshy stone fruits and ripe pears waft out of the glass, along with a hint of dairy. The palate is quite ful...

Cracka rating80
Region: Central Otago
2013 Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir

2013 Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir

Welcome to the remote ranges of Central Otago where Rabbits run wild or so goes the legend, it’s also said that these rabbits pilfer the Pinot grapes and eat them; obviously these are rabbits with sophisticated palates. This is attractive, easy dr...

Cracka rating80
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 Amisfield Pinot Noir Rose

2014 Amisfield Pinot Noir Rose

A pretty vibrant pink, crimson colour reminiscent of the “Romeo” rose. Aromas of rose petals, strawberries and cream and a hint of fresh watermelon. The palate is silky with enticing summer fruit flavours and a refreshingly soft but dry finish....

Cracka rating0
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
2012 Mt Difficulty Sauvignon Blanc

2012 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
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
2011 Amisfield Dry Riesling

2011 Amisfield Dry Riesling

The name suggests this is a dry style of riesling out of EnZed, however, it does have a smidgen of residual sugar, and it is at the riper end of the spectrum at almost 13% alcohol. It's a lemon and lime wine that also shows smells of honeysuckle a...

Cracka rating90
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 Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir

2014 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
2012 Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir

2012 Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir

Ahh Grasshopper! There's something a little kung fu about this excellent little pinot noir as it seduces the senses and sashays over the palate like a smooth tai chi move. It's a fuller-bodied, fruit bomb style that shows lots of cherries, dark pl...

Cracka rating90
Region: Central Otago
2011 Bannock Brae Goldfields Pinot Noir

2011 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
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
2012 Archangel Chardonnay

2012 Archangel Chardonnay

Whether your name is Gabriel, Michael or Raphael, or even if it isn't, if you like your chardys with a decent hit of oak, the angelic choir will be singing after one sip of this offering out of Central Otago. Smells of ripe stone fruits, buttered ...

Cracka rating80
Region: Central Otago
2011 Wooing Tree Pinot Noir

2011 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
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
2011 Misha's Vineyard Lyric Riesling

2011 Misha's Vineyard Lyric Riesling

Dry in style, this is quite a juicy, fruit-driven riesling that shows lots of lemons, limes and jasmine florals on the nose that is highly intoxicating. The palate is light, bright and tight with citrus and tropical flavours, laser-like acidity, a...

Cracka rating80
Region: Central Otago