Marlborough, Central Otago

When most people think of New Zealand wine, the first thing that comes to mind will be Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. This one variety more than any other helped springboard New Zealand on to the world-wine scene.

The region is located on the northern end of the south island, nestled around the town of Blenheim, and for many years was a sheep region. It was Montana wines, who in 1973 planted the first vines in the region “too far south to grow good wine.” At the time the region was the southernmost region in the country, but nowadays Central Otago takes south to a whole new level.

Plenty of sunshine hours, relatively low rainfall and cool temperatures provide the perfect conditions for growing world-class Sauvignon Blanc the region is renowned for. Other whites grown include Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Sparkling wines. Pinot Noir dominates the red varieties grown, though is typically lighter bodied than Central Otago or Martinborough Pinots.
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.
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  1. Spinning Top Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Spinning Top Wines reflect the simple pleasures that can be derived from nature. Sourcing the wines from three distinctive Marlborough sub regions (Waihopai, Wairau, Awatere) allows Spinning Top to pinpoint exactly the precise characteristics they wish to reflect. Clean, joyful ... Learn More
  2. Kopu Gisbourne Pinot Gris 2021
    Grapes for this wine were grown in the Ngatapa Valley region of Gisborne district where dry-farming practices have been employed for over 75 years. Post-harvest the grapes and juice were processed with care to maximise fruit flavour and intensity. The resulting ... Learn More
  3. Kopu Gisbourne Pinot Gris 2020
    Grapes for this wine were grown in the Ngatapa Valley region of Gisborne district where dry-farming practices have been employed for over 75 years. Post-harvest the grapes and juice were processed with care to maximise fruit flavour and intensity. The resulting ... Learn More
  4. Black Cottage Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021
    This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from lower-yielding vineyards on the hillside slopes for greater intensity and whole bunch pressed. The nose is fresh and delicate with restrained aromas of gooseberry and freshly grown grass given complexity by river-stone and white ... Learn More
  5. Mt Difficulty 'Roaring Meg' Pinot Gris 2021
    The grapes for this wine come from the vineyards in Central Otago’s Cromwell basin. Tasting Notes Roaring Meg Pinot Gris 2021 is an intense and inviting bouquet of frangipani blossom with nashi pear and fresh ginger. A full and rich ... Learn More
  6. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2021
    Always up there as the finest 2 or 3 Sauvignons in Marlborough every year, Greywacke emphasise ripeness in the vineyard to produce a sophisticated and satisfying style of Sauvignon Blanc. Crafted by former Cloudy Bay founding winemaker Kevin Judd, with able assistance ... Learn More
  7. Mt Difficulty 'Roaring Meg' Pinot Gris 2020
    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
  8. Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Considered to be one of New Zealand's finest producers, Astrolabe have built their reputation on consistently producing exceptional wines. One of my favourite Astrolabe wines is the 2019 Astrolabe Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc. It’s quite a ripe example of the ... Learn More
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    Bob Campbell MW
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    Cameron Douglas MS
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    Michael Cooper
  9. Te Whare Ra Pinot Gris 2020
    Lifted aromas of nashi pear, raspberry, red apple and white florals. The nose follows through to the palate with the same flavours along with savoury undertones which are balanced by fine, supple texture and lingering minerality. Enjoyable to drink now ... Learn More
  10. Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Shows distinctive Awatere characters of elderflower, guava, white currant, lemongrass and passion fruit coupled with lovely ripe tropicals and hints of basil and lime from Wairau components. The nose follows through to the palate - which is fine and soft ... Learn More
  11. Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Classic strong citrus characters with lemon and grapefruit prominent, complimented by elderflowers, with smoky and flinty undertones. A juicy and vibrant palate of pure citrus flavours leaving a lengthy finish with refreshing, balanced acidity. Ideally enjoyed as a young wine, ... Learn More
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    Mike Bennie
  12. Black Cottage Pinot Noir 2020
    Sourced from the Southern Valleys with some fruit from the Awatere Valley. This Pinot Noir went through 100% stainless steel fermentation and was hand plunged. This brought out the perfumed berry fruit as well as increasing the silky mouthfeel of the ... Learn More
  13. 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
  14. Te Whare Ra Single Vineyard 5182 Toru 2021
    Has the aromatic spice and weight of Gewurztraminer, the structure and length of Riesling, and the great texture of Pinot Gris in a perfectly balanced 75%/16%/9% blend. It is a delicious, co-fermented field blend from a single vineyard. This 2021 Toru has ... Learn More
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    Cameron Douglas MS
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    Bob Campbell MW
  15. Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2021
    2021 was one of the best vintages in the Wairau Valley in recent years and this wine truly reflects that. Vibrant, fresh lemon and grapefruit, ripe stone and tropical fruits and a floral element on the nose. Highly aromatic, as is ... Learn More
  16. Corafin 'Meltwater' Marlborough Chardonnay 2019
    A rather hedonistic nose suggests ripe pears, fresh peach and oatmeal while the palate is taught and chalky with nectarine, pear and iodine notes and a driven freshness. Unmistakably Marlborough for its cleansing hit of salty goodness, this is harmonious, ... Learn More
  17. Nanny Goat Pinot Noir 2020
    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
  18. Greywacke Riesling 2019
    A deliciously succulent and rich Riesling from experts in classic Marlborough varietals. Grown organically near the mouth of Brancott Valley, this vibrant and not strictly dry Riesling was grown on the kind of gravel and clay soils that are usually ... Learn More
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    Huon Hooke
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    Bob Campbell MW
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    James Suckling
  19. Dog Point 'Section 94' Sauvignon Blanc 2015
    Section 94 is one of the world’s most distinct wines, and regularly named New Zealand’s greatest Sauvignon Blanc. Bright straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on edge. The bouquet is firmly concentrated with deep aromas of greengages, nectarines ... Learn More
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    Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
  20. Wooing Tree Blondie 2021
    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
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    Cameron Douglas MS
  21. 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
  22. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2021
    Intense and quite weighty sauvignon blanc with passionfruit, lime zest, gooseberry, red and green capsicum and subtle oyster-shell flavours, supported by deliciously tangy acidity that drives a lengthy finish. - Bob Campbell Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the ... Learn More
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    Bob Campbell MW
  23. Cloudy Bay Pelorus Sparkling Nv
    Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the first five wine makers to venture into Marlborough. The famed Marlborough producer's sparkling. It's one of the best consistently from over the ditch and has genuine French-like class. Sourcing Non-Vintage sparkling wine ... Learn More
  24. 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
  25. Maude Pinot Noir 2020
    Such a popular Pinot Noir every year, we often think it must be the best value you can find in Central Otago. The 2020 Maude is sourced from Central Otago’s premium sub regions, each contributing to this savoury, complex Pinot ... Learn More
  26. Peregrine Saddleback Pinot Noir 2019
    A wonderful expression of Central Otago Pinot Noir. A luscious and fruit focussed Pinot Noir with great flavour and lovely soft tannin. A long ripening period has resulted in depth and concentration. The wine has spent 10 months in older French ... Learn More
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    Sam Kim
  27. Prophet's Rock Pinot Gris 2020
    "An off-dry style with powerful acidity packing in sweet ripe pears and apples. Fresh aromas and gentle pastry notes, too. This has it all. Drink now." - James Suckling Founded in 1999 by Paul Pujol, the two stunning vineyards that combine ... Learn More
  28. Rockburn Pinot Noir 2020
    The 2020 vintage yielded beautiful fruit from each of our sites, which we have simply guided gently through to the bottle with minimal handling It shows expressive nose of plum, black cherry and toasty oak supported by a palate full of ... Learn More
  29. Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018
    Medium purple with pink hues. Bright cherry, violets and red current on the nose with touches of cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Sweet spice entry with red cherries, raspberries and a supple, savoury mid palate. Nice fine-grained tannins, complex palate with ... Learn More
  30. Dog Point Pinot Noir 2019
    Dog Point Pinot Noir is one of the icons of Marlborough and for good reason. Winemakers Ivan and James first began their journey in the NZ wine game by starting globally-acclaimed winery Cloudy Bay. They are maestro’s at producing ... Learn More
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    Bob Campbell MW
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    Huon Hooke
  31. 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
  32. Amisfield Pinot Noir 2019
    Amisfield's flagship wine, has bright, focused dark fruits classic to the Central Otago region with a botanic note and a hint of cinnamon. The palate is broad, complex and lush with dark chocolate characters and gripping tannins on the finish. ... Learn More
  33. Rippon Riesling Mature Vines 2018
    A warm & productive summer put plenty of flesh on this wine. The fruit is issued from Rippon’s mature vines, whose root hairs have invaded the schist rock below. Lurking towards the end of the first mouthful is substantial phenolic ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Mike Bennie
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    Decanter
  34. Rippon Gewurztraminer 2019
    It's rare to find a Gewurztraminer with such poise and exotic beauty. This is subtle, delicate and balanced with pinpoint precision. With maturing vines and a truly favourable year for Gewurz, this wine speaks with real accuracy and pride of ... Learn More
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    Mike Bennie
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    James Suckling
  35. Rippon Riesling Mature Vines 2014
    A warm & productive summer put plenty of flesh on this wine. The fruit is issued from Rippon’s mature vines, whose root hairs have invaded the schist rock below. Lurking towards the end of the first mouthful is substantial phenolic ... Learn More
  36. Rippon Riesling Mature Vines 2019
    A warm & productive summer put plenty of flesh on this wine. The fruit is issued from Rippon’s mature vines, whose root hairs have invaded the schist rock below. Lurking towards the end of the first mouthful is substantial phenolic ... Learn More
    pts
    Gary Walsh
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    James Suckling
  37. Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    A ripe tropical and citrus bouquet, with underlying flinty minerality. In the mouth the wine is textural and rich from the lees aging with layers of minerals, lime, orange blossom and profound acidity balancing this dry, elegant wine. Ageing potential: 5 ... Learn More
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. Burn Cottage 'Moonlight Race' Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019
    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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