Winestate Magazine

OTAGO Central Otago & Waitaki Valley



Pinot noir dominated the tasting, which is no surprise, given that the classic red-wine variety of Burgundy accounts for nearly 80% of the region’s vineyard area. But the white wines of Central Otago and the Waitaki Valley (in North Otago) can be compelling too. Pinot gris and riesling were the early favourites, but chardonnay has been the big mover in recent years, yielding a rising stream of delicious, vibrant, creamy-textured wines.

Prices shown are approximate New Zealand retail. Wines available in export markets are shown as (A) Australia, (UK) and (US).




Pinot gris is easily the most widely planted white-wine grape in Central Otago and the Waitaki Valley, with 206 hectares of bearing vines in 2020, far ahead of riesling (77 ha) and chardonnay (68 ha). The regional style is typically full-bodied, vibrantly fruity and just off-dry, with a subtle seasoning of oak typically used to add an extra layer of flavour.

Tatty Bogler Waitaki Valley North Otago Pinot Gris 2019

Clearly a top vintage, this Alsace-style wine is a full-bodied, vigorous, off-dry style. Weighty, with strong, vibrant stonefruit flavours, gently spicy notes, fresh acidity and a very harmonious finish, it’s already delicious, but likely to be long-lived. Best drinking mid-2021+. $25

Terra Sancta Lola’s Block Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Gris 2018

This highly refined wine was hand-harvested and fermented and

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