the Kawarua River in Central Otago
As any of you that have followed me for a while know, after in depth trips through a region I like to compile my Instagram photos from the excursion here so that the collection is easier to locate. It’s something various people have asked me to do and has proven fun to revisit.
The last two-plus weeks I’ve been traveling New Zealand wine countries. The New Zealand Wine Growers have put together a truly incredible itinerary. It’s been remarkable. There has also been enough to do in each area that I’ve decided it’s too much to put into just one New Zealand Instagram collection here. Instead, I’ll go ahead and compile the photo collections here by region starting where my trip started, with Central Otago. Between Instagram collections I’ll also post write ups of the associated place and the wines we tasted. Be sure to check out the three pieces already posted here on Central Otago wines. They’re linked below.
After a direct flight from SFO to Auckland, a quick hop to Queensland on the South Island has me at the start of a trip through New Zealand wine countries. I was struck right away with how much the mountains descending straight into water and the vegetation remind me of the northern climes where I am from but Queenstown really resembles Kelowna in the Okanagan – the combination of generous slopes, a long snug lake, and houses cut in undulating terraces up the hillsides. Looking forward to seeing the country. #nzwine @nzwineusa
Rippon 2011 Riesling from Central Otago. Life goal: drink this while bathing in it and wash your hair with it except don’t waste it, it’s too good and you want to drink it so just drink it while taking a bath, or on a picnic, or in a hammock, or at dinner and day dream about being over indulgent washing with it. It is that good. #nzwine @nzwineusa
Really lovely wines made by a lovely winemaker. Beautiful intensity and intelligence housed in a delicate, pretty, finessed wine with a light palate and pleasing texture. Here Paul Pujol of Prophet’s Rock making wine from a moderate elevation glacial terrace with underlying chalk and lime in Central Otago. He destems his Pinot then avoids punch downs or pump overs keeping the cap wet with a light sprinkling from a watering can in order to allow delicate fruit expression with balanced structure. As he explains, working harvest in Musigny, he learned the lesson that “a mineral terroir supports no extraction.” Having already seen something like this from his site here in Bendigo the comment clicked and when he returned his approach shifted. Pinots all unfined, unfiltered and lovely. #nzwine @nzwinegrowers @paulpujol @nzwineusa
Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef describing the complexities of Central Otago from a glacial terrace high above Lake Dunstan. “We have a textural landscape. … Thirty years ago we thought it was a rather simple region. Now we understand it is rather complex.” As Rudi explains, the lake valley runs North South but plantings have stretched East West as well, all cut through by multiple mountain ranges. As a result, the landscape is touched and ribbed by terraces, chutes, canyons, peaks, hills and valleys. Thus, the textural landscape. “Like if you are Picasso you really slap the paint on there.” #nzwine @nzwinegrowers @quartzreefwines @nzwineusa
Textural landscape in miniature. A wealth of various types of lichen growing on the rocks of a glacial terrace high above Lake Dunstan in Central Otago. The region is dominated by schist and very little topsoil. Lichen such a brilliant adaptation to extreme conditions. Such a detailed terrain across the dramatic folds and peaks of mountain topography. #nzwine @nzwinegrowers @nzwineusa
Let’s just call them the superhero super power winemakers. Great tasting talking through the history and vintages of Central Otago through the lens of Pinot Noir with (from left) Paul Pujol of Prophet’s Rock, Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef, Mike Dicey of Mt Difficulty, and Duncan Forsyth of Mount Edward. #nzwine @nzwinegrowers @paulpujol @quartzreefwines @mtdifficulty @wineswinger @nzwineusa
Duncan Forsyth and Anna Riederer of Mount Edward in the Gibbston area of Central Otago are crafting savory, expressive Pinot Noir with aromatic lift and a mineral drive that keeps the mouth stimulated into next week. Delicious wines. (They’ve also got a Chenin and Elderflower based vermouth that is pretty killer. The image on the t-shirt Duncan is wearing is also the label.) #nzwine @nzwinegrowers @wineswinger @nzwineusa
Central Otago – a land of lakes. My very favorite thing to do besides laying down is to be on or near the water (laying down by the water best thing ever!!!). So great then to spend time alongside the lakes of the region. Here the mountains falling straight into Lake Wanaka. #nzwine @nzwinegrowers @nzwineusa
For all you Lord of the Rings dork balls out there (I love you): Behold! The Kawarau River of Central Otago filmed for the stretch of the movie where all the shit went wrong and they were betrayed and then that one guy died but not until after repenting and saving the sturdy little good natured and noble hobbits. #nzwine @nzwinegrowers @nzwineusa
Love in the wilds. (And also the spot on the river where Boromir went bastard then realized what he’d done and repented but got sliced in half by the orcs anyway.) #Repost @yrmom_safoodie ・・・ On the road again! Wow it’s bright in #NZ! @nzwinegrowers @nzwineusa #lordoftheringssites thanks to @lauren_eads for suggesting the stop! #nzwine @nzwineusa
To read more on my travels in Central Otago here are three articles I’ve posted here so far.
Stand out Rieslings in Central Otago: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2017/01/24/two-stand-out-rieslings-from-central-otago/
A subregions Pinot noir Tasting: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2017/01/25/pinot-noir-in-central-otago/
Vintage Variation and the History of Central Otago: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2017/01/25/vintage-variation-and-the-history-of-central-otago-pinot-noir/
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