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.
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.”