Posts Tagged ‘central otago’

Virtual Tasting of Very Special New Zealand Wines

January 17, 2012

All wine regions throughout world produce a wide range of quality wines and these special wines from New Zealand are now gaining recognition and appreciation around the world. I wrote about this a while back and was excited to see this virtual wine event sponsored by New Zealand Complexity. It will be an evening that is both delightful and informative. To participate just follow this link.

Saturday February 4th, 2012 

Virtual Tasting 7:00pm Central Standard Time

In association with Wine Channel TV we’re celebrating Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s National holiday,  with a virtual wine tasting and cooking demonstration – and you’re invited to ‘come along’! With Celebrity Winemakers in attendance, and a live audience in Chicago, you’ll have the opportunity to message in questions as you sip along with us from the comfort of your living room. Gather up a group of friends, register, and tune in with fellow-wine lovers from around the globe for this fun, social way to taste and learn about New Zealand’s finest wines!

Be sure to stock up with a few bottles from our featured wineries at a participating retailer beforehand. To stay up-to-date with #nzwineday news including competitions, participating retailers and restaurants, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

See you online!

Got Questions? Email us! events@complexity.co.nz

Note: Once you’ve registered for this FREE event we’ll send you everything you need to know about how to access the virtual wine tasting online.

You will also be automatically entered to win a Complexity Fine Wine t-shirt and other great Kiwi prizes!

New Zealand Atkins Ranch Rack of Lamb

May 12, 2010

Atkins Ranch Rack of Lamb

2 Atkins Ranch Racks Of Lamb, frenched if you like

2 T fresh chopped marjoram, basil, mint or parsley

2 tsp melted butter 4T bread crumbs– whole meal

2 tsp Dijon mustard Grated rind of 2 lemons

1. Toss melted butter through the breadcrumbs, add fresh herbs and lemon rind.

2. Coat the back (meaty) side of the rack with mustard. Firmly press on the herbed breadcrumbs.

3. Preheated oven to 4000 F, cook the racks for 20 minutes for rare lamb, 25 minutes for medium.

4. Remove lamb from the oven and let stand, covered, 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with: Small whole potatoes, with a side dish of tomatoes, zucchini, onion and peppers sautéed together till tender. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.

To Barbecue: Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes each side. Cook the herbed side last.

A wide choice of New Zealand wine will complement this dish. Look for Pinot noir from Central Otago, Waipara or maybe Martinborough. Or Bordeaux blends from Hawkes Bay or Waiheke Island.

Finding New Zealand Wine From Importer Station Imports

May 3, 2010

Sometimes the trick to finding new and delicious New Zealand wines is as simple as reading the back label and getting to know who the importer is. Station Imports is one example of a small and specialized wine importer who only imports wines from one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Station Imports is very focused and exclusively works with wineries in Central Otago. This is a unique collection of wines including Rippon, Kawarau Estate, Sleeping Dogs, Freefall, Nevis Bluff and Mount Michael.

These wines are special, they are not in every grocery or wine store or on every wine list. You will have to go exploring to find them and that is all part of the joy.

Introducing Lady Parker – A New Zealand Wine Reviewer

March 19, 2010

I am young woman in wine, reviewing and vlogging the best of what New Zealand wine has to offer – it’s personalities, it’s stories, and most importantly the uniqueness inside each and every bottle.

Sharing no known lineage with Robert Parker (the USA’s Wine Advocate), though a common background – I’m passionate about learning, tasting and enjoying what the world of wine has to offer.

I’m pursuing my passion… It’s been a lifelong one – growing up as a wine makers only daughter, with five brothers – my day-to-day life has hardly been prosaic. I grew up in a family of wine and entrepreneurship.

Now having finished my Law Degree at Otago University, I have chosen to honour my fervour for Wine and am on a journey of discovery – endeavouring to navigate the unchartered world of wine & ultimately seeking to achieve my MW perpetually learning, reviewing (and enjoying!) wine.

Insights Into Central Otago Pinot Noir

February 22, 2010

Here is a great article  written by Pat Landee author of Patty’s Pinot Closet about Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s Central Otago region. This region is producing a wide range of wines that are often described as stunning. Pat provides insight into the sub regions – people – where to eat – where to stay and specific reviews of several select wines.

Here is the link again.

Finding New Wines – Wild Rock New Zealand

January 13, 2010

Some time ago I wrote about finding new wines by taking the time to get to know the people behind the wines. Wild Rock is an example of a New Zealand winery with

a group of fun and interesting people. Like to buy wine from people who live life to the max – here they are.

Want to buy a New Zealand wine that might be outside of what you normally do – maybe a Pinot Gris or a Merlot / Malbec blend or what about a Rose? When you go for it with your dollars, it is always good to know you are buying  from real people,  in a real place. Wild Rock is one of those choices.

What’s even more interesting, as you explore the people, you find someone  who is connected to something else. So it is with Wild Rock – while this video will deadpan Steve Smith as just a guy – as he obviously is –  and the website  presents him only as a Wild Rock guy – there is more.

A little research will show that Steve Smith is a shareholder, director and a lot more at Craggy Range Winery. Craggy Range is a special New Zealand story and one worth noting – coincidentally I wrote about them not long ago too.

This is where the story gets interesting because many think  New Zealand is  capable of producing limited numbers and styles of wine. Steve Smith is way out in front and showing the world what New Zealand is truly capable of. And he is proving his Craggy Range New Zealand wines can run with the best in the world.

Wild Rock is a side project with lots of upside for your wine pleasure – Craggy Range is the bonus or maybe it is the other way around. Either way you win!

Wines and Vines of Central Otago in New Zealand

May 21, 2009

Allan Johnston and Chris Cozens have done an outstanding job of sharing the magic of Central Otago. To enjoy this video pour a glass of wine,  sit back and connect with Central. And then share with your friends.

Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration

December 9, 2008

Press Release from Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration

10 December 2008 

Exemplary 2001 Grand Cru Burgundy Pinot Noirs Land on NZ Soil 

Wines from some of the world’s most elite wine estates have arrived in New Zealand. 

The five 2001 Grand Cru Burgundies, including wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Comtes Georges de Vogüé – are the highlight of the 2009 Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration Formal Tasting.  The Celebration will be held in Queenstown, New Zealand on 30th and 31st January 2009. 

A stimulation presentation on the Burgundian Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system will be lead by world-renowned wine experts Jasper Morris MW, Neal Martin and Jancis Robinson MW.  A formal tasting of the five wines will follow:  Domaine Trapet Père & Fils, Domaine Dujac, Domaine Comtes Georges de Vogüé, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Bouchard Père et Fils.  

This will be a special opportunity to examine the social and political environment at the time of the AOC’s creation and the AOC’s contemporary applications to present-day Pinot Noir producers.   

In addition to the Formal Tasting and the excellent line-up of world-renowned wine experts, the Celebration also includes a Grand Tasting of over 40 Central Otago Pinot Noirs.  The tasting will be divided alphabetically by winery into morning and afternoon sessions and each company will present their current vintage as well as one previous vintage.  

World-class wines demand world-class cuisine, and Queenstown’s top chefs will deliver just that over two gourmet-filled days.  We are privileged to have celebrated chef Martin Bosley from Martin Bosley’s Yacht Club Restaurant, Wellington (Supreme Winner – Restaurant of the Year, Cuisine magazine 2007) will prepare the Grand Dinner in one of the most stunning dining locations you are ever likely to experience.   

Two hundred delegates from around the world descent on Queenstown for the event, in its 7th year.  Past media and VIP attendees have included premier Burgundy critic, Allen Meadows; acclaimed wine author, judge and founder of Coldstream Hills winery in Victoria, James Halliday; Singapore-based publisher, lawyer, writer and tasting panel judge, CH’NG Poh Tiong; and Executive Director of the San Francisco International Wine Competition, Anthony Dias Blue.   

For registration information, please visit www.pinotcelebration.co.nz or contact:  

Catherine Badrak

Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration committee – Marketing & Media

Email: catherine@rockburn.co.nz

Phone: +64 (0)21 752 434

Central Otago Pinot Noir

December 5, 2008

A very special place for Pinot noir

Here is some information that was prepared by Central Otago Pinot Noir Limited.

Central Otago is the southern-most grape-growing where-is-new-zealandregion in the world located at latitude 45º south (similar to both Oregon’s Willamette Valley, U.S.A., and Bordeaux in France). The first wine-grapes were planted in Central Otago in 1864. Despite the district’s potential as a wine growing area being recognised by French and Australian viticulturists from the 1860’s onwards, wine-grapes were not commercially grown again in Central Otago for more than a century. Modern day wine growing began in 1972 and shortly followed in 1975 with experimental plantings at Rippon Vineyard, Lake Wanaka. The first commercial release of a Pinot Noir from Central Otago, the regions flagship variety, was the 1987 vintage from pioneer Alan Brady at the Gibbston Valley winery.

OUR RECIPE FOR GREAT PINOT NOIR

This could be a pretty long debate, but it seems to us that there are a small number of key requirements for keeping Pinot Noir happy:

A narrow range of heat summation 

GDD’s (Growing Degree Days) are bannock-brae-estate-mapmeasured in a few different ways so numbers are hard to compare, but the way we do it, 850 – 1100 in the growing season seems to be the sweet spot for Pinot Noir. In latitude, that generally means being at about 45-47º North or 44-45º South, (the Antarctic mass makes the Southern Hemisphere a touch cooler, so the band is a little farther North there).

Large diurnal shifts

A significant variation between maximum and minimum temperatures each day. Hot days, (but not too far above 30ºC), and cool nights, develop flavour complexity. That means being a continental rather than a maritime climate, but not so far from the sea that the frosts become untenable.

A long, cool, dry autumn

Hang time seems to really improve Pinot Noir. A micro climate that gets the fruit nearly ripe, then cools off and lets it hang for a while seems to add depth to the wine. But Pinot Noir is very susceptible to Botrytis, so low humidity and low rainfall in the autumn is a big plus. 

A heavy but draining soil 

In Burgundy, the combinations of Clay and Limestone achieve this. We have heavy Loess soils interspersed with gravels. Either way, the roots have heavy soil with good minerality and low organic matter, but don’t get waterlogged.

It might seem surprising that given such a short list, there aren’t a lot more places which fit this recipe for Pinot Noir viticulture. But a quick look at the world map shows why.

To get the diurnal shifts you need to be inland from the coast, (though the Californians get them through coastal fogs) but if you are too far in from the windward coast, the shifts get too great and frosts in Spring and Autumn get too dangerous. In the Northern Hemisphere there are only 2 continental masses: go inland on each, following the prevailing winds, from 45-47 degrees, moving eastward until the climate gets continental and you arrive at The Williamette Valley in the USA and Burgundy in Europe.

Try the same exercise in the Southern hemisphere and there are similarly only 2 land masses, one is Patagonia, where it is too windy to grow grapes. The other is Central Otago.

A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT

“If I were a grape, this is where I’d want to grow up”

photo credit ©Allan Johnston 2008

photo credit ©Allan Johnston 2008

45 North and 45 South are very different worlds. In the temperate zones, global winds flow West to East round the planet. In the North that journey takes them through heavily populated and industrialised regions. In the South, there is only Central Otago and Patagonia. While well over 100 million people live between 44º and 46º North, there are less than 400,000 living in the Southern strip. This reflects in a lack of pollution and disease pressure – there is no vineyard in Central Otago within 200 kms of a traffic light!

We believe the natural health of our vines is a reflection of our isolation. It may be a bit quiet in the evening, but the grapes don’t mind that!

My Thoughts

The word is out and many now know the one word to describe wines from Central Otago is “Stunning”. In the not distant future, followers of Central Otago will come to know a wine from Bannock Burn is different from Lowburn is different from Gibbston Valley is different from Bendigo. Just as other great wine regions of the world, Central Otago is small but the wines from the sub-appellations all carry their own story. This is also true for the wines crafted from single vineyard sites to those that show the winemakers blending skills.

Finding these wines can be a treasure hunt. When you do  you can rest assured that you have a great bottle of wine in your hand. Just take a few bottles home and share some with friends. Stash a few for future enjoyment. You will be delighted for many years. How long is still to be discovered, only by putting a few away now, will you be able to participate in the future of this great region.

Read the back label – see who the importer is  – they will mostly likely have other gems from New Zealand’s diverse wine regions. The wine shops and restaurants that have these wines available should be high on your list for enjoying wines from around the world. They are gems too.

There is a great book called Vineyards on the Edge the story of Central Otago Wine. Google it and share it with a friend. Dave Cull the author will appreciate it.

PS: Don’t forget to check out the white wines too. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc are all equally impressive.

Welcome to Bannock Brae Estate and Central Otago

October 14, 2008

[blip.tv ?posts_id=837414&dest=35612]

Heres an exciting find for fans of Pinot noir! New Zealands southerly Central Otago region has rapidly developed a reputation for expressing a special “terroir”, one that is unique throughout the world. Though this region shares a similar latitude with Burgundy, Central Otagos warmer, drier climate allows this persnickety grape to ripen more fully. The resulting wines exhibit distinctively deep, fruity attributes that are much-loved by Pinot noir enthusiasts.