Apart from the outright beauty and raw wildness of Central Otago it is a region of great diversity. In both a climatic and cultural sense this part of New Zealand is full of paradox. Hot and cold, in a relative way, wet and dry in the same. It’s cultural history is based on survival under extreme conditions and now the vinous landscape offers an incite into it’s subtlety and finesse.
From a grapegrowing and winemaking perspective it is small, 1800 hectares of planted land as of 2011 yet vast, covering sub-regions from Wanaka to Alexandra, Bendigo to Gibbston.
Vineyards were the last thing on the minds of the settlers who first arrived in Bannockburn in the 1860’s in search of gold. Such was the feverish hunt for the mineral riches lying beneath the landscape that the topography was dramatically reshaped by Hydraulic mining forever. After the Goldrush of the 1860s and 1870s all that remained was a harsh looking scared moonscape until the first grapevines were planted in the 1980s. A new Goldrush was to take hold and redefine the value of the minerals that remained. The unique soils and dry climate have proven to be synergistic with grape growing and particularly suited to Pinot Noir.
The vital statistics
Latitude 45Deg 04’38.34” South
Elevation AMSL 225 metres
Average annual Rainfall 300mm