Central Otago, Rioja

Central Otago is the southernmost wine growing region in the world, located at a latitude of 45 degrees south, on New Zealand’s south island. A spectacular landscape makes the region one of the most scenic wine regions if not in the world then certainly in New Zealand. Central to the region is the tourist destination of Queenstown, which is a great base to make wine trips from.

Heavy mineral deposits in silt loams are typical for the soils in Central Otago, but is unlike any other region in New Zealand. The Otago region is the countries only ‘continental’ wine growing region.

Pinot Noir is the flagship red varietal, which is very well suited to the regions large diurnal shifts (a large diurnal shift means a big difference between low and high temperatures) and also the regions long, cool and dry autumn. The Pinot Noirs coming out of the Otago region are most often fragrant, lush Pinot Noirs with silky textures and true fruit intensity.

Aromatic whites also thrive, in particular Riesling where anything from bone-dry to very sweet can be made. Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and lesser amounts of Chardonnay is also made to a very high quality. Central Otago is in Jancis Robinson’s top five New World wine producing regions.
Rioja is located in the south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river in the north of Spain. The region also has a river called Rio Oja, which is where the region likely gained its name. There are three main regions in Rioja, with each of them producing quite unique expressions of Rioja wines.

To the west is Rioja Alta, in the higher elevated area. This sub-region is renowned for its old-world wines that are often lighter on the palate due to the higher altitude. The wines coming out of Rioja Alavesa on the other hand are fuller bodies, with higher acid levels than those from Rioja Alta. The third area, Rioja Baja is the warmest and driest of all, and can in summer months can be exposed to very high temperatures drought so irrigation is now permitted in the region.

The reds (tinto) wines of Rioja are generally blends of Tempranillo and Garnacha with lesser amounts of Graciano and Mazuelo. Amongst the white (bianco) varieties, Viura is the most common though normally blended with Malvasia or Garnacha Blanc. Plenty of interesting Rosé wines are produced, most commonly from the Garnacha variety. Note that wineries in Spain are commonly referred to as bodegas.
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  1. Alegro Rioja Tinto Tempranillo 2019
    A fun, fruity wine, perfect to enjoy every day with a snack or any Mediterranean dishes, like rice, vegetable or pasta. This wine is representative of the virtues of the Tempranillo variety: intense floral aromas, very fresh red and dark ... Learn More
  2. Vina Muriel Rioja Crianza 2015
    Very bright and cherry red in colour leading to ripe red fruited aromas and flavours combined with subtle vanilla, mocha and liquorice notes. The palate is fleshy and mouth-filling with soft, juicy fruit, soft acidity and supple tannins. A very ... Learn More
  3. Finca Nueva Rioja Rosado 2016
    The Finca Nueva Rosado is made for easy and enjoyable drinking. From the creator of Finca Allende, these wines over deliver on expectations. Miguel Ángel de Gregorio, one of the great revolutionaries pushing for modernity in Rioja, is the man ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  4. Rockburn Devil'S Staircase Pinot Noir 2019
    Devil’s Staircase wines are inspired by the winding road leading from Queenstown to Kingston along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Sourced from several Central Otago vineyards, the Devil’s Staircase Pinot Noir has aromas of black Doris plums, blueberries ... Learn More
  5. Mt Difficulty 'Roaring Meg' Pinot Gris 2019
    The grapes for this wine come from the vineyards in Central Otago’s Cromwell basin. This wine displays delicious very ripe Pinot Gris aromatics reminiscent of a fruit cocktail full of rock melon, pineapple and stonefruit nice detail is added ... Learn More
  6. Rockburn Devil'S Staircase Pinot Noir 2018
    Devil’s Staircase wines are inspired by the winding road leading from Queenstown to Kingston along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Sourced from several Central Otago vineyards, the Devil’s Staircase Pinot Noir has aromas of black Doris plums, blueberries ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  7. Alegro Rioja Crianza 2017
    A representative wine of the new Rioja style, interpreted from modernity. Elegant, balanced and reliable on any occasion, with classic aromas of red fruit and vanilla and subtle hints of liquorice and toffee. Versatile with all kinds of Mediterranean dishes ( ... Learn More
  8. Mt Difficulty 'Roaring Meg' Pinot Gris 2018
    The grapes for this wine come from the vineyards in Central Otago’s Cromwell basin. This wine displays delicious very ripe Pinot Gris aromatics reminiscent of a fruit cocktail full of rock melon, pineapple and stonefruit nice detail is added ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  9. Vina Muriel Rioja Reserva 2015
    Classic ruby red with a terracotta hue. Lifted aromas of red berries, cola, vanilla and subtle garden herbs. Ripe fruit flavour is pulled elegantly firm with fine sandy tannins and perky, refreshing acidity. This is an expressive yet refined Tempranillo ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Wine Spectator
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    Decanter
  10. Chard Farm Pinot Gris 2019
    Floral and pear aromas with fig and date dried fruits leading to nice nutty notes in the background. The fresh pear and floral flavours highlight a lively and textured mid palate, before a dry saline tone brings back the nutty ... Learn More
  11. Akarua Pinot Noir 'Rouge' 2020
    “An early bottling in a traditional ‘nouveau’ style. It is terrific to see so clearly, the flavours of two of our oldest and most favourite vineyards without the overlay of extended oak ageing and complex winemaking. We like to enjoy ... Learn More
  12. Akarua Pinot Noir 'Rouge' 2019
    “An early bottling in a traditional ‘nouveau’ style. It is terrific to see so clearly, the flavours of two of our oldest and most favourite vineyards without the overlay of extended oak ageing and complex winemaking. We like to enjoy ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  13. Anthem Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
    Well balanced and aged Reserve Pinot Noir from Central Otago ... Learn More
  14. Nanny Goat Pinot Noir 2019
    The nose is dense and intriguing, with layered black and blue berry fruits, toasted spice, cola and an ethereal floral lift. The palate is velvety and plush up front, brimming with wild berry fruits, currants, lightly roasted coffee beans and ... Learn More
  15. Alegro Rioja Reserva 2014
    A clear example of the elegance and silkiness of Rioja Reservas but with a more modern profile. With the complexity of long ageing in the barrel and bottle, and the delicateness of the Tempranillo. A wine with intense aromas of ... Learn More
  16. Akarua 'Rua' Pinot Noir 2017
    Far from a sold-out rarity, as is often the case with heavily awarded wines; RUA Pinot Noir is widely available in NZ and beloved by Kiwis who describe it as their ‘go to’ and ‘everyday’ wine. ... Learn More
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    Huon Hooke
    Out of stock
  17. Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle Nv
    Exuding elegance & finesse. Pale yellow with a bouquet of green apple and hints of lime and brioche. On the palate, this is flirtatious and moreish. Enhanced by an invigorating cool, creamy acidity. Focused, cool and crisp with beautiful balance and ... Learn More
  18. Wooing Tree The Blondie 2019
    This unique Blanc de Noir was made from 100% Pinot noir grapes, grown on our family owned vineyard. Ripe hand picked fruit and gentle winemaking have given a wonderfully balanced wine. The elegant champagne colour resulted from minimal skin contact prior ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  19. Prophet'S Rock Dry Riesling 2019
    It gets the same meticulous treatment in the vineyard as our top Pinot Noir, and our yields are extremely low, creating a concentrated expression of our unique site. Averaging only 300 cases per vintage, our Dry Riesling is a rare find. ... Learn More
  20. Maude Pinot Noir 2018
    Such a popular Pinot Noir every year, we often think it must be the best value you can find in Central Otago. The 2018 Maude is sourced from Central Otago’s premium sub regions, each contributing to this savoury, complex Pinot ... Learn More
  21. Nevis Bluff Pinot Noir 2015
    Pinot Noir is a notoriously difficult grape to cultivate that grows best in cooler climates, hence the growing reputation for quality in the Central Otago region. Our terroir produces fruit that is intensely coloured and brimming with flavour. This fruit ... Learn More
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    Sam Kim
    Out of stock
  22. Freeland Wines Pinot Noir 2009
    A light to medium-bodied Pinot Noir with ripe plum, raspberry and dark cherry flavours. Focused, fresh and soft-textured wine with an easy appeal. ... Learn More
  23. Rippon 'Jeunesse' Riesling 2019
    The Rippon Jeunesse Young Vine Riesling 2019 vintage is a stellar release; a kaleidoscope of flavours from lime to grapefruit, juicy and tart and sweet-sour all at once. So much length, great texture with an almost crunchy finish. Brilliant expression of ... Learn More
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    Mike Bennie
  24. Chard Farm 'Mata Au' Pinot Noir 2018
    Floral and herbal is the first impression in the glass before an alluring perfume of aromatic red berry fruit and mineral undertones develops. There is a generous palate of fine tannins, and the pure red fruit and savory notes are ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  25. Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2019
    The flagship from Two Paddocks – an organically grown barrel selection from the estate properties. In 2019 this wine was produced from the four Neill family Central Otago vineyards. These small sites are high-density planted in a range of clonal material cropped ... Learn More
  26. Valenciso Reserva Rioja 2012
    It's naturally fermented, vinified in concrete vats and aged in low toast French and Russian oak for just 12 months. Forest fruits on the nose with some cherry aromas. There are also some earthy notes and hints of liquorice. Has liquorice, ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  27. Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016
    Dark floral and spice scents lead to wonderful red and dark fruits, with a lovely seam of minerality supported by supple tannins. Purity, elegance combine with texture, concentration and length. A true reflection of the three Central Otago sub regions ... Learn More
  28. Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
    Attractive florals and spice notes with layers of red and dark fruits balanced with a lovely minerality and fine supple tannins. A style that combines purity and elegance with texture, concentration and length. A true reflection of the three Central ... Learn More
  29. Burn Cottage 'Moonlight Race' Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
    The wine shows enticing bright fruit notes with cherry, rosehip and spice box aromas, but there are also rich earth and dark savoury notes here. The palate is one of elegance, concentration and power, while supple, harmonious tannins give wonderful ... Learn More
  30. Felton Road Bannockburn Chardonnay 2019
    Winemaker Blair Walter describes the wines of 2019 as ‘astonishing quality’. Delicate citrus flowers, jasmine followed by hints of peach. A substantial but taut palate, honeysuckle, creamy stone fruit and citrus, mouth-filling and generous, but always with nervous tension, then tightening ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  31. Burn Cottage 'Moonlight Race' Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016
    The wine shows enticing bright fruit notes with cherry, rosehip and spice box aromas, but there are also rich earth and dark savoury notes here. The palate is one of elegance, concentration and power, while supple, harmonious tannins give wonderful ... Learn More
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    Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
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    James Suckling
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    Mike Bennie
    Out of stock
  32. Felton Road 'Bannockburn' Chardonnay 2018
    Felton Road rank among the top 3 New Zealand producers, and in all honesty are usually number 1. In fact, they deserve a spot among the top New World producers, and this was proven when they were given the #12 spot in Wine ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  33. Prophet's Rock Home Pinot Noir 2017
    The foundation of this wine is our focus on delivering low-yielding concentrated fruit that expresses our vineyard. In the winery, we employ traditional old world techniques; the grapes are handled gently and the wines are fermented using only the indigenous ... Learn More
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    Huon Hooke
  34. Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014
    Silky and elegant with dark red cherry, spice and blackcurrant. A style that combines purity and elegance with texture, concentration and length. A true reflection of the three Central Otago sub regions that contribute to this Pinot Noir. 100% hand harvested ... Learn More
  35. Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013
    Intriguing aromas of exotic spice, mocha and dried floral notes. A concentrated palate with layers of dark fruit supported by fine earthy tannins. A style that combines purity and elegance with texture, concentration and length A true reflection of the ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  36. Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
    Peregrine Wines have named themselves after the Peregrine Falcon, a rare bird of prey found in very small numbers in Otago where the winery is based. This superb Pinot Noir is hand-harvested, warm-fermented and matured on French oak barrels for 10 ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Robert Parker
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    United Cellars Tasting Panel
    Out of stock
  37. La Rioja Alta Rioja Reserva ‘Vina Alberdi’ 2012
    100% Tempranillo sourced from an estate-owned vineyard in Rioja. ... Learn More
  38. Rippon Gamay 2017
    It’s completely alive and quite beautiful. As much as we note that schist’s compression and foliated structure can issue wines of precision and detail, here schist’s refractive, luminous nature shines a direct, unadulterated light onto Gamay’s ... Learn More
    Rippon Gamay 2017
    $74.99 Per item
    pts
    Mike Bennie
  39. Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    VALLI is the personal vocation of pioneering winemaker Grant Taylor. Grant’s name is synonymous with Otago Pinot Noir. He has been crafting wines there since 1993 when there were only 20 ha planted – today there are over 2000. Grant founded VALLI in 1998 ... Learn More
  40. Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    VALLI is the personal vocation of pioneering winemaker Grant Taylor. Grant’s name is synonymous with Otago Pinot Noir. He has been crafting wines there since 1993 when there were only 20 ha planted – today there are over 2000. Grant founded VALLI in 1998 ... Learn More
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