Our Central Otago vineyard prepares for winter

Posted by & filed under Newsletters.

We have had precious few of those long sunny days with cloudless skies this year in Central Otago. May has been the first month of Winter. We have had no chance to get into the garden and there are tulips and irises waiting to be planted and bags of “Moa Wool” waiting to be spread around the shrubs and roses.

The vineyard is in shutdown mode.

Winterizing has been completed and pruning has commenced. Bald Hills uses a mixture of cane and spur pruning, depending on the grape variety and clone and its position and exposure to the elements. Our much needed extra pair of hands, Tony Lingard, has started pruning and pulling out, using electric shears, and he will most probably move through the entire vineyard by himself and at his own pace. Another one of Grant Rolston’s crew will commence the tying down of the canes very soon and Blair will mulch the prunings with tractor and mulcher. A nice change from office work.

In the office we are now enjoying the accounting and systems expertise of Rachel MacDougall. She achieves in one hour what it would take we two computer-challenged seniors several days. Her focus has been on streamlining our accounting systems so that Blair and I can spend more time on the essentials, such as marketing!

Bald Hills has appointed United Cellars to help with marketing. Following meeting personally with them we are confident that they are a thoroughly professional and dependable team of experts who know their wines. While currently based in Australia they intend also establishing in New Zealand some time soon. They may approach you by telephone and if so you will know they have our full endorsement.

We decided to release our 2007 “Single Vineyard” Pinot Noir following the announcement of a Gold Medal win at the recent 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards in London , the only Gold for Pinot Noir awarded to a Central Otago wine. (click here to go to our website) We also won Bronzes at the International Wine Challenge. It is especially rewarding to achieve these results in a rapidly increasing field where the competition is very tough and the judging stringent. Our focus has always been on quality not quantity and the awards we have won over the years for all our varieties bear out that we are succeeding in this endeavour.

The Tasting Room remains open through June and July. We will close for the month of August and take a break in Australia but will open by appointment upon our return. From September it will be business as usual – open every day from 11-5.

Look forward to you visiting when next you’re in Central.


Estelle and Blair.