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What Makes Central Otago’s Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris so Good?

Famously the southernmost commercial wine region in the world, Central Otago’s wines are much-loved both at home and abroad. But with countless wineries across NZ, have you ever wondered what it is about this region that makes our wine – especially Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris – so good?

Without giving away all our secrets, the Bald Hills team wanted to offer a little insight into why our wines are so sought-after.

Central Otago Pinot Noir

Accounting for almost 80 percent of grape plantings in Central Otago, Pinot Noir is the undeniable star of this region. Often considered the most romantic wine, Pinot Noir grapes are one of the oldest varieties still used in modern wine making. They aren’t all that easy to grow, but when you get it right, the effort pays off in spades.

Originally from Burgundy, France, Central Otago is one of the most suitable regions in the world to make Pinot Noir outside its hometown. But why?

Central Otago’s special climate

A renowned fussy grape, thin-skinned Pinot Noirs need a climate that is not too hot, not too cold and not too wet. Surrounded by mountains, Central Otago boasts a cool climate that is uniquely protected from the wet coastal weather on either side. We have hot dry summers, cool dry winters and plenty of sunshine hours.

All this combines to yield Pinot Noirs that are smooth, silky and complex. Our Central Otago Pinot Noir wines end up with the unrivalled freshness and high acidity, vibrant fruit aromas and big tannins that you know and love.

Central Otago Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris is one of NZ’s favourite wines and Central Otago is the place to grow these cool climate grapes. Every Pinot Gris is unique and boasts its own personality and our Central Otago Pinot Gris are known for being aromatic, dry and acidic.

Again, our cool, dry and sunny microclimate plays a big role in creating our trademark Pinot Gris that are sought-after around the world. Perhaps this climate is so beneficial because Pinot Gris grapes are actually a mutation of Pinot Noirs.

Passionate winemakers

While the right climate is a prerequisite for excellent wine, there’s another element that you need to achieve the beautiful wines of Central Otago: passion.

From hand harvesting grapes on icy cold mornings to employing environmentally-friendly processes in our vineyards, our team is dedicated and hard working. The people working in Central Otago wineries bring the passion, experience and work ethic needed to create the wines our region is famous for.

Have you tried Central Otago’s famous wine?

There’s no time like the present! Find one of our stockists around NZ or order your Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris online and we’ll send it straight from our Bald Hills vineyard to your home.
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