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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Popular wines made in Central Otago under $20

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Varietals Produced in Central Otago View all

  • Gewürztraminer

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Akarua

    Akarua's Central Otago estate vineyard and winery was established in 1996 by Sir Clifford Skeggs ...

  • Wild Rock Wine Company

    Wild Rock Wine Company is a producer of regionally diverse wines. Company vineyards, a combinatio...

  • Rippon Vineyard Ltd

    In 1974, Lois and the late Rolfe Mills moved back to the family farm in Wanaka. Acting largely on...

  • Packspur Vineyard

    Packspur takes its name from the track that was used to pack supplies over the Pisa Range, from t...

  • Quartz Reef

    Named after New Zealand’s largest quartz deposit that lies beneath our vineyards at Bendigo Stati...

  • Domaine Jaquiery

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

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Central Otago on Snooth

  • Matua Lands & Legends Central Otago Pinot Noir New Zealand 2016


    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002

  • Al - Most everybody goes to Marlborough but I was in Central Otago during it's early days of real wine discovery and it is beautiful - their pinot noir selection is very good.  Also, Hawkes Bay with it's gravelly, stoney southern Rhone soil is a must, some good wines are hitting the States from there also.You are correct on the price point (+/-)... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...

  • This offer from Ian Cauble looks worth trying:  ATA RANGI, ... ... ... world-class Pinot Noir. Central Otago, on the south island and home to the most southerly (as in, close to Antarctica southern) vineyards in the world, is the best known. But there’s also Wairarapa, on the north island, and its sub-zone of Martinborough—whose microclimate ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good pinot noir in the $30...

  • Went a little South American with steak, grilled veggies, etc and these:Both of ... was a lot like some of the Central Otago wines I've tried. Elegant, easy drinking, a touch of spice and smooth tannins.  Raspberry and dark cherry on entry. Great nose.The CyT Serie Ribera Cabby was at it's prime. Plenty blackberry, dirt, a cedar note and chewy ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • This was dinner on Saturday night with friendsStarted with a platter of Salami, ... 2014 Peregrine Pinot from Central Otago was a much more interesting Pinot, certainly a fruit driven raspberry flavour but certainly had some savoury characteristics which suggest to me some ageing potential definitely worth drinking  The Pinots were accompanied ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...

  • Aussie Pinot NoirBest RegionsAdelaide Hills - South AustraliaMornington ... - ... ... - Ata Rangi rather than Central Otago - Felton RoadI tend to feel Central Otago can be too much on the raspberry fruit characteristic and lacking some more meaty earthy characteristics&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Aussie Pinot Noirs

  • Yes a littleMainly Central Otago and Martinborough PinotsHawkes Bay has a unique bit of dirt known as Gimlett Gravels which makes some very unique and delicious Shiraz, very different to ours and in very small quantitiesThey also produce some good chardonnayI have toured Marlborough twice as part of my work for Pernod and it is a quite beautiful... Read More

    Forum post in the topic AUSTRALIAN CHARDONNAY

  • Carrick Unravelled Pinot Noir 2013


    Nose is almost unpronounced to a hint of berry. Firm tannins, dry. Underwhelming at best. Read More

    Wine review by juice4me

  • Felton Road Pinot Noir Central Otago Block 5 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by Sanchee1

  • Loveblock Pinot Noir Central Otago 2012


    Floral and earthy nose with licorice violets and rich syrupy cherries. More herbal notes in the mouth, basil and sage, with delicious ripe cherry and mixed berry fruit blossoming towards the finish blending with tart cranberry, blueberry and a creamy oaky finish.90 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

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