New Zealand has a growing reputation for producing fine wines. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines are considered amongst the best in the world. New Zealand is small (about the size of California or Great Britain), green and a scenically majestic country.
New Zealand has ten main wine producing regions. For a small country they display a huge diversity in terms of climate and terrain.
Queenstown and the Central Otago wine region is the fastest growing wine region in New Zealand. It is also New Zealand’s highest and the world’s most southerly wine region situated at latitude 45º south. The area displays New Zealand’s only true continental climate with very low rainfall and immense extremes of seasonal and daily temperatures.
This unique climate combined with well suitable soils are the ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir (80% of the region’s wine production). The Queenstown and Central Otago wine region has won more gold medals for this variety than any other New Zealand region.
The Queenstown and Central Otago wineries are also held in high regard for the quality of their Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris varietals.
The first grapes were planted in Central Otago in 1864. However, despite the wine region’s potential, grapes were not commercially grown until the end of 1970’s. Today Central Otago is well known for its premium Pinot Noir and spectacular landscape of rugged mountains, lakes and deep river gorges.
The region's reputation is built on high quality boutique wines. Central Otago contributes to 5% of grape plantings in New Zealand (approximately 1100 hectares).
Those who have visited the Queenstown region and breathed the pure mountain air will see that reflected in the purity, intensity and vibrancy of the regions wines.