Area Profile - Central Otago

Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

The world’s most southerly wine producing region, that has over the last few years become arguably the most exciting region for Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy. Particularly striking given that the region, covering an area of 10,000 km and inhabiting less than 18,000 people, still has a relatively small share of the New Zealand wine Industry as a whole. The vineyards are the highest in the country at between 2-400 metres above sea level, and they benefit from a sheltered inland climate characterized by hot dry summers, short cool autumns, and cold crisp winters.
Pinot Noir is easily the most important variety in Otago, accounting for approximately 70% of vines. Other varieties, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and especially Riesling, are found and are also showing great potential. Whatever the variety though there is a shared vibrancy, intensity and purity to all the wines. Still a young region however Otago continues to develop, and although the wines are never at the cheaper end of the market, when chosen well, they are definitely worth spending that bit extra on.

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