Top Wine Producers of New Zealand's South Island
New Zealand's South Island is home to some of the country's most well-known wine regions, where many talented winemakers have opted to practice their craft. The uniquely expressive terroirs provide them with the opportunity to make singularly magnificent wines. Here are a few wineries to add to your must-try list.
This award-winning winery is based out of Central Otago. One of the pioneers in the region, Quartz Reef is widely acclaimed for its extraordinary Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. The winery's vineyards are north-facing, which means each of winemaker Rudi Bauer's wines is full of rich, concentrated flavour. These wines are prime examples of some of the best Central Otago has to offer.
For those in the mood for something slightly off the beaten path, Quartz Reef also makes a wonderful, elegant Gruner Veltliner. This superb wine is a tip of the hat to Bauer's Austrian heritage. And if you're in need of a wine fit for festivities, Quartz Reef's traditional method bubbly will add plenty of sparkle to any occasion.
Winemaker David Clouston's wines are the perfect synthesis of outstanding terroir-driven fruit and European winemaking know-how.
Need a picnic wine? Pick up a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc. This is Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at its finest. With all the classic hallmarks like gooseberry, passionfruit, and melon, Black Cottage's Sauvignon Blanc is the ultimate picnic, lunch, or just because wine.
In addition to its phenomenal Marlborough offerings, Black Cottage also produces a beautiful Central Otago Pinot Noir. This graceful Pinot is balanced out by intense berry flavours and just a hint of spice.
Natural wine lovers should definitely get to know Dog Point. It is an organic winery whose philosophy adheres to the principle that nature is the best winemaker. Their approach is one of low intervention in the vineyard, which yields flavourful grapes and ultimately, wonderfully complex, sophisticated wines. What's more, each of Dog Point's stellar wines is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. Of course, you'll want to check out their Sauvignon Blanc, particularly the single-vineyard Section 94 bottling, but Dog Point also offers a gorgeous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Taking its name from the local wild goats who live amongst the rugged slopes of the Southern Alps range, Nanny Goat Vineyard is another prime example of top Central Otago winemaking. The cool climate allows winemaker Alan Peters-Oswald to create truly elegant wines which aren't shy about expressing that perfect balance between terroir, winemaking, and the characteristics of the individual grape varieties he grows. The family-owned winery offers Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and an exceptional Syrah – a testament to Peters-Oswald's skill. Do yourself a favour and taste through the line. The Pinot Noir is especially good, with layer upon layer of lush berry fruit, cola, and spice.
For fans of elegant, Old World style wines with ample New World ripeness and flavour, the South Island has seemingly unlimited wines at your disposal. You'll definitely want to keep a few bottles on hand – these wines are unbeatable for any occasion.