Central Otago is the southernmost wine growing region in the world, located at a latitude of 45 degrees south, on New Zealand’s south island. A spectacular landscape makes the region one of the most scenic wine regions if not in the world then certainly in New Zealand. Central to the region is the tourist destination of Queenstown, which is a great base to make wine trips from.
Heavy mineral deposits in silt loams are typical for the soils in Central Otago, but is unlike any other region in New Zealand. The Otago region is the countries only ‘continental ’ wine growing region.
Pinot Noir is the flagship red varietal, which is very well suited to the regions large diurnal shifts (a large diurnal shift means a big difference between low and high temperatures) and also the regions long, cool and dry autumn. The Pinot Noirs coming out of the Otago region are most often fragrant, lush Pinot Noirs with silky textures and true fruit intensity.
Aromatic whites also thrive, in particular Riesling where anything from bone-dry to very sweet can be made. Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and lesser amounts of Chardonnay is also made to a very high quality.
Central Otago is in Jancis Robinson’s top five New World wine producing regions.