Matt Skinner, The Sun Herald Uncorked – 26 JUNE 2011
It’s a nice enough dream. The one where you own a pretty little vineyard out in the country the kind of place where gentle slopes and rows of healthy vines produce wines that keep the kids in private school, you behind the week of a European car, and the bank manager smiling. Ever entertained the idea of chucking it all in for a little slice of that? Sure you have. But the above mentioned fantasy is a reality for just a privileged few. For the rest, growing grapes and making wine circa 2011 takes courage and plenty of it.
Occupying the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, Central Otago is a region in which grape growing is just another of the extreme sports the region is so fond of. It just shouldn’t be possible to grow grapes here, yet somehow, against the odds and despite an adverse climate and lack of water, unique microclimates have helped turn out some of the lushest Pinot Noirs outside Burgundy!
Example: 2008 CHARTERIS Winter Vineyard Pinot Noir
Located as far south of the equator as you can grow grapes, Central Otago produces some truly stunning wines. Charteris grapes are harvested by hand and treated gently, with natural fermentation, minimal handling and no fining. Expect lush Pinot with an intense nose, rich palate and silky texture.
Drink it with roast duck and a muscatel sauce!