The Otago region, where vineyards cling to the sides of dramatic mountains, high above sparkling river gorges, is the southernmost commercial wine region in the world.
Winegrowing pioneers first planted vineyards in the late 1800s, with the modern vineyard plantings really taking shape in the late 1970s. The landscape of Central Otago has been carved over time by glaciers, and the soils in the area are mostly made up of mica schist and greywacke. Clay and loam soils are also common, as is windblown loess. These conditions, along with a dry climate, are highly conducive to premium viticulture.
Central Otago has a variety of winegrowing sub-regions within close reach - including Alexandra, Bannockburn, Bendigo, Cromwell, Gibbston and Wanaka – all with distinctive mountainous terrain providing each area with a unique climate, aspect and altitude. The extreme terrain allows producers to focus on careful site selection and sub-regional expression, creating thoughtful wines of great intensity and finesse.
North Otago and the Waitaki Valley, which run along the north western edge of Central Otago, is New Zealand’s smallest wine region - a niche area with a growing reputation for top-quality wines.
World-renowned for Pinot Noir, the Otago region is also home to a variety of stunning expressions including excellent aromatics, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.