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Lowburn Ferry - fine Pinot Noir wine from Central Otago

Harvest crew 2017

Trophy - Air NZ Wine Awards 2016 - Champion Wine of Show, and Champion Pinot Noir...



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Deep in the south of New Zealand and surrounded by mountain ranges is Central Otago New Zealand's smallest but fastest growing wine region and home to some of the finest vineyards in the country. Central Otago has a continental climate hot summers and long cold winters and in small pockets of the region the combination of microclimate and unique soil conditions are perfect for growing the fickle Pinot Noir grape. The Pinot Noirs from Central Otago have been rapidly gaining international acclaim.

Lowburn Ferry is the area surrounding an historic ferry crossing over the mighty Clutha River. A picturesque lake now occupies the ferry site at the base of the Lowburn Valley and vineyards abound on the surrounding glacial terraces where goldminers once toiled in the hot Otago sun.

Nestled on a sheltered north facing terrace in the Lowburn Valley beneath the Pisa Range is Lowburn Ferry Vineyard, a family owned vineyard dedicated to the production of high quality Pinot Noir wine. The vines are hand tended to maximise the benefits of the unique terroir and microclimate.

Lowburn Ferry Pinot Noir 2003, the first wine produced from this vineyard, won trophies for Champion Wine, Champion Red Wine and Champion Pinot Noir at the NZ Winegrowers 2005 Bragato Wine Awards. The success followed a run of serious reviews from notable wine writers including a rating of 18 out of 20 by UK wine critic Jancis Robinson, and five star honours in Cuisine magazine.

Lowburn Ferry
Home Block Pinot Noir 2012

Lowburn Ferry
Skeleton Creek Pinot Noir 2011

One of NZ's foremost wine writers, Bob Campbell MW, recently had this to say in Gourmet Traveller Wine Feb 2011 "Top Secrets":

“…so why isn't Lowburn Ferry a household name, at least among pinot lovers?
Because its vineyard has a miniscule area of three hectares. That's not to say it can't expand. It could easily replace some of the sheep that graze on the balance of the 35-hectare property with vines. Its recipe for success is location and good viticulture. …”
And about us (Jean and Roger) he says: “Between them there's not much they don't know about growing grapes. They could do the world a favour by growing more.”


August 2017
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 has been named in Air New Zealand's Fine Wines of New Zealand - a definitive list of the finest wines of NZ as selected by six of the country's leading wine experts. "They are the finest wines New Zealand has to offer" - the result of an extensive annual search Air NZ wine consultants select from the Fine Wines of New Zealand list the best wines to be served at altitude in Business Premier cabins throughout the year, alongside the company's existing wine offereing.
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 was an obvious choice to join the exclusive list, after it won Champion Wine of the Show at the Air NZ Wine Awards last year (although the list and the awards which the airline sponsor are not at all related).

August 2017

Lowburn Ferry owners Jean & Roger Gibson announce the sale of their vineyards and the Lowburn Ferry wine brand to Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates (ANZFWE)

The new Limited Partnership is a venture between USA based Sangreal Wines LLC, where Mr Brian Sheth is the sole diretor, and LandbaseWineNZ ltd, with Steve Smith as sole director.

Mr Sheth is an investor and wildlife conservationist from Texas and a passionate wine connoisseur. Steve Smith, a Master of Wine, has had an illustrious wine industry which included co-founding and leading the development of Craggy Range, based in Hawkes Bay an Martinborough.

ANZFWE has also purchased a vineyard property in North Canterbury and a small piece of land in the Gimblett Gravels appellation in Hawkes Bay.

The sale is subject to NZ Government's Overseas Investment Office approval, and Jean and Roger Gibson will continue to be involved during the transition stage.
"We always believed our site was special, and we look forward to seeing Lowburn Ferry grow into greater things under ownership and stewardship of Steve and Brian."
...more info...press release and links to high resolution photos click here .....
April 2017
The Lowburn Ferry pinot noir harvest came in during a lovely fine weather spell from 7th - 10th April - a little earlier than usual.
The lower yield at Lowburn Ferry in this cooler vintage still led to beautiful ripe intensely flavoured fruit - now fermenting at the winery. Look out for our 2017 pinots later next year, we think they are going to be stunning!

Feb 2017

Lowburn Ferry Home Block Central Otago 2015
The 2017 Sydney International Wine Competition has awarded Lowburn Ferry Home Block Central Otago 2015 the J F Hillebrand (New Zealand) Ltd Perpetual Trophy for Best Pinot Noir of Competition.
In addition to this outstanding achievement, it was also awarded:
Mark De Havilland Memorial Trophy for Best Red Table Wine of Competition.

14 Nov 2016
The Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 won the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy, as well as the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir - at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards held in Auckland on Saturday night.
Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 was one of the more complex Pinot Noir wines in this year’s competition.
“This wine has lovely ripe wild cherry aromas with earthy herbal and truffle-like undertones,” said Mr Brajkovich. “The palate is full-bodied with a seductively silky texture and is showing the benefit of bottle maturation.”
“Pinot Noir was undoubtedly the strongest class of wine this year, showing very high quality across a range of styles. All of the Gold Medal winning wines are outstanding, but this older example had that ‘something special’ to attract the judges’ attention in the trophy tasting.”

...more info...press release and links to high resolution photos click here .....
...read full press release from Air NZ Wine Awards here .....
Nov 2016
Air New Zealand Wine Awards
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir is one of 17 gold medals awarded for Pinot Noir..gold being judged as "Excellent quality (18.5 – 18.99 out of 20 points)"
Trophies will be awarded at the Wine Awards Dinner to be held in Auckland on Saturday 12 November

27 Sept 2016
Decanter Asia Wine Awards: Gold
Just announced this week Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 has won GOLD in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards in Hong Kong - scoring 95 points.
This accolade is timely as we look to expand in Asian markets - Hong Kong being a key focus, while in China it will support our growing sales network.
This is a totally separate competition from our recent award in the September issue of Decanter magazine in the UK - where this wine was placed Number 1 (NZ Pinot Noir tasting) !!

26 August 2016
Lowburn Ferry Wines Nails Decanter tasting in UK - “Outstanding”
NZ “Best Pinot-producing country outside of France : Decanter

Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 has ranked Number One in high profile Decanter magazine in the UK. The in-depth tasting of more than 170 pinot noirs from across New Zealand in Decanter's September 2016 issue was carried out by a panel of three prominent UK industry wine judges. Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 scored 96 points out of a possible 100, giving it “Outstanding” status in the tasting.
In the covering feature article reviewing the tasting, New Zealand is described as being “the best Pinot-producing country outside of France.”

...read full story here .....
...download media release with photos (pdf) here .....
...read full Decanter article (pdf) here .....
July 2016 Huge congratulations to our UK importer Daniel Lambert Wines for taking out trophy for Best Small Agent of the Year 2016 at the International Wine Challenge Gala Dinner last week!
(and our Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 won a Silver Medal there too!)

...see 2016 vintage comments from the winemaker and viticulturalist...

24 May 2016

Jancis Robinson reviews Lowburn Ferry

I love these reviews of Home Blocks 12, 13 and 14 from Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages...
"14: Quietly meaty (as in rare steak) on the nose with restrained red fruit. Fine tannins with the soft tugging rub of wet clay on a potter's wheel. ..."
"13: Very perfumed nose, lifts out of the glass like a puff of talc, wild cherry ground into fine powder. ...New World charge, Old World restraint."
"12: ... A wine that will probably give as much pleasure in its callow youth as it will with some mellowing age. (TC) Tamlyn Currin 17.5 / 20"
...see full reviews and more

2 May 2016
Lowburn Ferry has new distribution in Australia: VIC & TAS, and North Island NZ

We are very excited to announce that Lowburn Ferry Wines have teamed with Santé Wines in Melbourne, Australia, for distribution across Victoria and Tasmania.

We also now have a partnership in the North Island, NZ (Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty) with Mark Jones, of The Wine Seller International.
Refer to our distribution pages for more info... international trade and NZ Trade
3 Feb 2016
Home Block Pinot Noir 2014 is just released...

Lowburn Ferry Wines has won top honours at the Sydney International Wine Competition this week notching another success for its "Home Block" pinot noir wines.
The "J F Hillebrand (New Zealand) Ltd Perpetual Trophy for Best Pinot Noir of Competition" was awarded to Lowburn Ferry 2014 Home Block Pinot Noir and will be available to taste at the competition's public function at the Menzies Hotel in Sydney on Saturday. The Sydney International Wine Competition is notable as wines go through a three-phase blind judging system – where the finalists, in food-friendly style categories, are judged beside food dishes of similar palate for a Blue Gold award – with the top 5% of the 2000 entries also receiving Top 100 awards. Lowburn Ferry has been a Blue-Gold winner with its Home Block wines each year since the 2008 vintage – and in the Top 100 (top 5%) for 5 out of those 6 vintages. Lowburn Ferry "The Ferryman" Reserve Pinot Noir 2013 also won a Blue-Gold Top 100 award at this year's show.

...download media release (pdf) here .....

Nov 2015
We were also at the Winestate Wine of the Year Awards (for Australia/NZ) up in Auckland last week where we were once again a Top 5 Finalist for the 4th time in 5 years. (and we've won the trophy twice in that time!).
Above: At the Winestate Wine of the Year Awards in Auckland Nov 20th 2015: Grahame Shepherd (Definitive Wines), Iris Huang (NZ wine lover and friend of Definitive Wines), Jean Gibson (Lowburn Ferry) and Chelsea Fraser (Definitive Wines). Definitive Wines are our China exporters.

April 2015
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2013 wins top place in Cuisine NZ Pinot Noir Tasting!

"It's a powerful, hedonistic style, but still has delightful freshness and definition," noted judge Sam Harrop (Master of Wine, winemaker and international wine consultant).
Pure dark fruit flows seamlessly and silkily across the palate, enlivened by fresh acidity, and the finish is long and fine. As a food match, try slow-cooked lamb shoulder, spiced with preserved lemon, cumin and coriander seeds.
Read the article on stuff.co.nz by John Saker here...

March 2015
"Great news for Lowburn Ferry!
The Drinks Business held our Global Pinot Noir Masters blind tasting last week and I am pleased to inform you that your wine received a Gold medal and one of the highest scores in the whole tasting. Our judges are notorious for being the toughest in the business with many wines failing to reach the medals at all so this was a fantastic result for Lowburn Ferry. Your result was as follows -
Lowburn Ferry Home block Pinot Noir 2011 Gold (90 points plus)
This Gold medal was extremely hard won, as the judges awarded very few high scores, as you will see when the results are published. So very well done to you and your winemakers!"
Andrew Oliver , The Drinks Business
View the results at www.thedrinksbusiness.com

Feb 2015
2013 wines released. Home Block, Skeleton Creek, The Ferryman Reserve

Jan 2015
The 2012 Lowburn Ferry 'Home Block' Pinot Noir made it into Gourmet Traveller Wine's Top 100 new releases for 2014 and scored 5 Stars and 96 points. Described as 'An intense, complex, sumptuous pinot that is perfumed with dark plum, black cherry and a hint of violets. There is an appealing gamy influence on the palate. The texture is seductively smooth with a backbone of fine tannins.'

Small Winery soars Sky High!
Nov 2014
Lowburn Ferry Wines has capped a string of elite awards for its wines in the past fortnight with the announcement that its pinot noirs will be served in British Airways first class cabins from early next year.
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2011 will be on board on British Airways flights on the Asia-Pacific sector from March and vineyard owners Jean and Roger Gibson say the association with this premier airline represents a significant endorsement for Lowburn Ferry. They hope the first class patrons, being more or less a "captive audience" will learn more about Central Otago wines during their voyage, improving the profile of the wines in developing markets, particularly Asia.

...read more news here...
...news archive...


Please note that visits and tastings are by appointment only - please phone +64 3 4450846 to book

Lowburn Ferry Wine, 5 Swann Road, RD2, Cromwell, Central Otago, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (3) 445 0846, Fax +64 (3) 445 0840, Email: