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Dec 17, 2017

Central Otago is known among wine dorks as a Pinot Noir mecca. We're lucky that regular podcast guest host Simone Madden-Grey is from this region! In this episode, she gives us the skinny on climate, soil, top wines, travel tips, and what's next for the wines of the region.


Here are the show notes: 

  • Simone gives us a bit of background on the region and talks about its origins in 1975 – 1980 when pioneersRipon, Chard Farm, Gibbston Valley Wines started


  • We get into detail on geography:
    • Southernmost growing region in the world with Patagonia – at 45˚ south latitude
    • Climate: Alpine climate, with short and hot summers and really cold winters, great day to night temperature swings
    • Southern Alps: Run down middle of South Island. Rain shadow from the wet weather from West.
    • Gorges, lakes, rivers mean abundant water for viticulture
    • Soils: ancient glaciers, quartz and silica in the soils but when the gold rush happened, the soil was stripped and now producers are trying to restore it


  • We discuss New Zealand's dedication to its Sustainable Winegrowing Program, biodynamics, and organics and the "Clean and Green" mentality of New Zealand


  • We talk about the main grapes and wine profiles of Central Otago – Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc, Tempranillo (Brennan Wines is mentioned)
  • We discuss aromatic whites and their potential in the region: Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris, white field blends


  • We discuss the subregions and how they are new and just starting to define themselves
    • Wanaka – arrived, Ripon
    • Gibbston, Bannockburn – up and coming
    • Bendigo – Prophet’s Rock, Quartz Reef (vineyards)





Please follow Simone:



Instagram: Happy Wine Woman


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