About Us

hiro isao gary

Isao Mita (centre), Hiroshi Kusu (left) and Viticulturist Gary Crabbe

 

Welcome

Isao Mita of Yokohama Japan is pleased to announce his purchase of Bald Hills Vineyard and Wines.

“We have the greatest respect and admiration for Blair and Estelle Hunt for the excellence they were able to achieve. It is an honour to continue their legacy in the production of exceptional wines.

We wish to build upon this foundation and look forward to producing only the most outstanding wines which reflect this great site we have been blessed with.

Bald Hills have valued your support and input over the years and we trust we may maintain this vital relationship.”

Isao Mita

Our People

Pete Bartle, Winemaker since 2011

Bald Hills Winemaker since 2011

Peter Bartle has established himself as one of Central Otago’s most successful and respected winemakers with his no nonsense, passionate approach to winemaking. This approach has lead his wines to great success in competitions and tastings.

In the eleven years Pete has been in Central Otago he has made over 15 trophy winning wines and over 60 gold medal awarded wines.  Major wine shows include the International Wine Challenge, International Wine & Spirit Competition, Sydney Top 100, Tri-Nations, Air New Zealand, New Zealand International Wine Show, Royal Easter Show and the Liquorland Top 100. He has been a nominee for Winemaker of the Year in Winestate magazine.  Pete has consistently made wines that have been placed in the top 10 in varietal class in Cuisine magazine tastings, which include a 1st and 2nd placing for Pinot Gris, 2nd placing for Pinot Noir, numerous wines that Pete has made have received 90+ point scores from wine writers in publications including Wine SpectatorWine Enthusiast and Gourmet Traveller to name a few.

Pete’s biggest awards in the past few years have been with Winestate magazine – Wine of the Year award for the 2007 Peregrine Pinot Noir.  This is the world’s largest competition for Australia and New Zealand wine, with over 10,000 wines judged.  It was also the first time in Winestate awards 13 year history for a New Zealand wine to be named Wine of the Year. In 2010 the 2009 Peregrine Pinot Noir won Champion Wine of the Show at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and the same wine won the Bouchard Finlayson Champion Pinot Noir at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London.

Pete loves vineyards and really enjoys working alongside the vineyard team getting to know the site from the ground up. He believes most of the work is done before the fruit arrives at the winery and it is his job to coerce the best out of the grapes the vineyard has produced and to make wines with poise, texture and balance.

Pete has been in the wine industry for over 18 years. After graduating in 1994 with honours from the Eastern Institute of Technology he worked for Villa Maria Estate with winemaker Michelle Richardson for five years, during which time he completed a harvest in 1997 for Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa, California. Pete was then appointed assistant winemaker at Forrest Estate in Marlborough for a year before being lured down to Central Otago by the promise of working with Pinot Noir.

In January 2001 Pete arrived in Central Otago to take on the winemaking role at Olssens.  The opportunity to work with multiple vineyards drew him to move to Peregrine in October 2004.

2010 saw him take on the Chief Winemaker role at VinPro where his skills and experience are a perfect match for the adventures that present themselves.

Pete lives in Alexandra with his wife Dora, daughter Paige and sons Oscar and Pedro. Outside of work he likes to keep fit with cycling and spending time with his family.

 

Gary Crabbe, Viticulturist

Originally from the Great White North, Gary got his first taste of great New Zealand wine while working for Cape Mentelle in Western Australia.  He became intrigued with the beauty and power of NZ wines and knew he had to come find the secret to its success.

Upon completion of his Post grad at Lincoln in 1999 he was enticed to Central by the purity of its wines, landscape and people. With 15 years of toil on Central wines, Gary still continues as a viticulturist and is excited by the prospect of creating superb wines on an truly stunning vineyard.

 

Hiroshi Kusu, General Manager

Hiro introduced Bald Hills Vineyard to Mr Isao Mita who was looking for the opportunity to be a vineyard owner. They both agreed that Bald Hills Vineyard is well known for producing excellent wine in Central Otago and has great potential and a bright future.

Hiro manages the vineyard, wine-making, sales and promoting of Bald Hills wines in the domestic and international markets with the co-operation of Gary and Peter.

He believes Bald Hills wine will have a great reputation in his home country of Japan in the near future.

 

Grant Taylor, Winemaker ( 2001 – 2010)

Dip Ag, Dip Field Techno. (Lincoln)

Grant Taylor is possibly New Zealand’s most awarded Pinot Noir winemaker.

A highlight for Bald Hills was his achieving the Champion Red Wine award at the London International Wine Challenge in 2007 and the International Pinot Noir Trophy from the Decanter World Wine Awards, also in London in 2007.

Grant had previously won the same IWC award for Gibbston Valley Wines.

He has now worked more than 40 vintages in total, in France, Oregon, Australia and California as well as in New Zealand. Grant repeatedly has advised Bald Hills to always “make the best wine possible” and not to “cut corners”, advice we continue to take to heart.

 

Christopher Keys Winemaker ( 2009 and 2010)

BA, PGDip Eng.Lit, PGDipViticulture/Oenology (Lincoln)

Christopher is making the Bald Hills white wines from 2009.

Christopher is a deep thinker, an artist with a poetic soul.

His intelligence, skill and craftsmanship enable him to nurture wines so that they may preserve the defining features of this vineyard.

He is thoroughly grounded in his approach to winemaking too, for as he says – one of the fundamental absolutes for me as a winemaker is the concept of balance- where each constituent of a wine is sculpted so that one does not dominate the other.