Fri 05 Sep 2014

A Visit To Central Otago

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Flying into Queenstown is spectacular: snow-capped mountains, glacial gorges and ski runs all visible.

Flying into Queenstown is spectacular: snow-capped mountains, glacial gorges and ski runs all visible.

Wonderfully, the wines on this trip stood up to the pretty astonishing surroundings.

I had a wonderful tasting with Annika, owner of the small but perfectly formed Mount Koinga vineyard. The Wine Society has been the exclusive customer for the wines from this property managed by Mike and hand crafted by Paul Pujol at Prophet’s Rock.

Mount Koinga: Paul (winemaker) Annika (owner) and Mike (viticulturist)

Mount Koinga: Paul (winemaker) Annika (owner) and Mike (viticulturist)

I went on, with Paul, to visit a number of his vineyards including the one where the Exhibition Central Otago Pinot is sourced from.

Rocky Point - the source of our Exhibition Central Otago Pinot Noir

Rocky Point – the source of our Exhibition Central Otago Pinot Noir

The fruits of these vines make up the Exhibition wine

The fruits of these vines make up the Exhibition wine

Aptly named Rocky Point, as you can see from the photos, it is on a steep aspect overlooking the mirror-like Lake Dunstan and snow-capped mountains beyond. A tough vineyard for vines, encouraging complex flavours to develop in these concentrated grapes.

Paul Pujol in the Rocky Point vineyard...

Paul Pujol in the Rocky Point vineyard…

...and with Society head of buying Tim Sykes.

…and with Society head of buying Tim Sykes.

I was able to try the next vintage of the Exhibition wine which, although just bottled, had plenty of sour cherry and cranberry notes, fine tannins and great length.

Prophet's Rock: Rocky Point vineyard

A full tasting of the wines from Prophet’s Rock including some back vintages also really demonstrated how well the pinots and rieslings can age, becoming very complex and fine.

Prophets Rock

On to Victoria on this whistlestop trip.

Sarah Knowles
Society Buyer for New Zealand

Comments

  1. Norman M Ridley says:

    I like Ortego wines, but what is the point of our buyers going there and not bringing back some recommendations. The photographs were fine?

    • Martin Brown says:

      Thanks very much for your comment, Mr Ridley. Our buyers will occasionally blog from their trips to share any information/photos which members might find interesting; the wines themselves will be in our forthcoming lists and offers once details and retastings have been ironed out. I hope this goes some way to clarify.
      Best regards
      Martin Brown
      The Wine Society

  2. Derek Summers says:

    Having visited that area and enjoyed the wines, I note their has been no mention of Wild Earth. If I remember correctly it was from just outside Cromwell in a small valley.
    Derek Summers

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