Pinot Noir, Central Otago

Pinot Noir is a red grape that is one of the most challenging to grow in any part of the world. Due to its thin skin and tight bunches, it is susceptible to both mould and disease. However, when it is successful, it produces some of the most amazing wines in the world. Although its home is Burgundy, it has emerged as a popular variety in Australia. Representing only 1% of grapes crushed, it has built a high profile with a number of world-class, distinctly Australian wines being produced. The greatest examples coming from the cool climates of the Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong and the Yarra Valley.

Pinot Noir performs well on the deepish limestone based subsoils that are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or. However, yields need to be kept in check. Pinot Noir's concentration and varietal characters disappear rapidly if yields are excessive. Some of the best and most expensive wines in the world are still found in Burgundy.

Pinot Noir also plays a key role in Champagne, being blended with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. In the US, Oregon and Washington state are producing outstanding wines. In New Zealand, great Pinot Noirs are crafted in Martinborough and in Central Otago, New Zealand's only true continental climate.

The thin skins of Pinot Noir mean the wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However, the best wines have grippy tannins, fragrance and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, but as it matures, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouthfeel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey nuances emerging.
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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Anthem Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
    Well balanced and aged Reserve Pinot Noir from Central Otago ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  6. 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
  7. 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
    pts
    Huon Hooke
    Out of stock
  8. 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
  9. Maude Pinot Noir 2019
    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
  10. 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
    Maude Pinot Noir 2018
    $39.99 Per item
    Out of stock
  11. 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
    pts
    Sam Kim
    Out of stock
  12. 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
    Out of stock
  13. Amisfield Pinot Noir 2018
    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
  14. Amisfield Pinot Noir 2013
    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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. Burn Cottage 'Moonlight Race' Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018
    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
  20. 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
    Out of stock
  21. 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
    pts
    Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Mike Bennie
    Out of stock
  22. Prophet's Rock Home Pinot Noir 2018
    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
    pts
    Huon Hooke
  23. 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
    pts
    Huon Hooke
    Out of stock
  24. Rippon 'Jeunesse' Young Vine Pinot Noir 2018
    This is more of a pinot noir grown at Rippon, rather Rippon through the eyes of pinot noir. It’s a kid, or an adolescent at least, even a young adult. It’s endearing, colourful, perhaps even capable of wisdom, ... Learn More
    pts
    Mike Bennie
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    United Cellars Tasting Panel
    Out of stock
  28. Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    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
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
  29. Valli 'Bendigo Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2014
    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
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
    pts
    Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
    pts
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
    Out of stock
  30. Valli Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    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
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
    pts
    Joe Czerwinski
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. Valli Bendigo 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
    Out of stock
  34. Valli Bannockburn 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
  35. Rippon 'Rippon' Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2017
    Very pretty cherry and vanilla notes with savoury cured meats, nutty oak and gentle rose florals. Packed with juicy fruit flavours, fine grained tannins and a slate driven minerality. Biodynamic, vegan friendly & certified organic, with no additional sulphites. 16 months on ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
  36. Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011
    Sourced from a totally organically-farmed vineyard. This has the intensity and depth of flavour the Central Otago region is becoming renowned for. Mocha spice, blood plums and dark cherry aromas jump from the glass 5% whole bunches added to the ferment, ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  37. Amisfield Breakneck Reserve Pinot Noir 2018
    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
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
  38. Felton Road Calvert Pinot Noir 2017
    Felton Road farms four properties totaling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. Calvert Vineyard is located on Felton Road and is just 1km east of The Elms Vineyard and the winery. ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  39. Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2019
    Winemaker Blair Walter describes the wines of 2019 as ‘astonishing quality’. The 2019 Bannockburn Pinot Noir punches well above its Bannockburn ‘village’ designation, being a blend of Felton Road’s four primely situated vineyards: Cornish Point, Calvert, MacMuir and The Elms. 20% was ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  40. Rippon 'Rippon' Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2016
    Very pretty cherry and vanilla notes with savoury cured meats, nutty oak and gentle rose florals. Packed with juicy fruit flavours, fine grained tannins and a slate driven minerality. Biodynamic, vegan friendly & certified organic, with no additional sulphites. 16 months on ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    Out of stock
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