TRADE NEWS FROM LOWBURN FERRY | winter | june 2014

In this issue: winter arrives | Gold at IWC | Royals get taste of Central Otago pinot | Jancis Robinson reviews | artisan winegrowers of Central Otago | wines available | vintage 2014 | wine & food | more reviews | trade support

Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012 won a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge in London recently.

This influential wine show attracts entrants from all over the world and winning gold there is an endorsement of the consistent quality of our Lowburn Ferry wines.

Also hot off the press this review from

“Medium crimson. Sweet, like the warm smell billowing from the kitchen when cherry compote is simmering away on the stove. Mouthwatering and tingling with deliciousness. There's a sharp spine, like a slash of cranberry, which snaps all that sweet cherry juice into smart shape, and just a hint of menthol and liquorice to give it the suggestion of a dark side. The tannins lean ever so lightly on the tongue, more playful than practical. One should probably give it another year or so in bottle, but I'd struggle to resist opening it this summer. A wine that will probably give as much pleasure in its callow youth as it will with some mellowing age. (TC)” score 17+

...see below for more reviews or visit our web site:

The reviews and awards are timely given the arrival in the UK of new stock and the expansion of our distribution network across the entire UK - including Scotland and Ireland.

Recent snow marked a chilly start to winter in the vineyard but made some lovely photo opportunities. Unfortunately our winter so far has been mainly low cloud which makes for fairly bleak days outside for the winter pruning which will be done over the next few months.

By Invitation Only...
The Six Nations Wine Challenge is the only wine show in the world where the wines come in exclusively by invitation from the Judges. New World wines from Australia, NZ, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and USA are represented. "Because the wines are all selected by each of the judges the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world", says Bob Campbell MW, who invited us to submit Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012.

Lowburn Ferry and the Artisan Winegrowers of Central Otago were guests at the Fiordland Lodge Wine Club where roasted free range duck breast served with peppercorn custard, marinated strawberries, braised beef cheek croquette and fennel matched superbly with Lowburn Ferry Skeleton Creek Pinot Noir 2011.

OK it wasn't at Lowburn Ferry but when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited NZ recently they were hosted by the Central Otago Winegrowers Association focussing international attention on wines from the region, and especially our pinot noirs for which Central Otago is famous. Official royal tour photo: Copyright Woolf/Crown .

Available now:

Lowburn Home Block Pinot Noir 2011

"Showing good aging potential, the 2011 vintage was estate-grown, hand-picked at 24 brix and matured for 10 months in French oak barriques (32 per cent new.) Full-coloured, it is mouthfilling and savoury, with strong, ripe cherry and spice flavours, finely balanced tannins and excellent complexity. Best drinking 2014+. "4.5 stars Michael Cooper – Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
  • TOP 1OO BLUE-GOLD AWARD, Sydney International Wine Competition 2013

Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012
"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". 96 points, Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine

"...It’s fresh and crunchy, lively and spicy, it has layers that reveal themselves delicately, sip after sip: black berries, liquorice, vanilla, with an underlying umami sort of earthiness and delicate smokiness often found on some of France’s finest competition at three times the price. ..." read the full blog from here
  • GOLD MEDAL - International Wine Challenge, London 2014
  • PURE ELITE GOLD MEDAL - Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013
  • BLUE-GOLD AWARD, Sydney International Wine Competition 2013

Vintage 2014
The weather gods played their part, ensuring a smooth end to the growing season as we harvested the grapes in cool but fine weather over a couple of weeks in April. Picking started on 6th April, about a week earlier than usual, and took about 6 days. We were fortunate to once again have a happy and dependable crew, including many regulars - friends and family, students, travelling workers (German) and our Australian support team of Rhonda and Ted Allen! Much appreciated to all - the total harvest was 23.51 tonnes, our biggest yet!
here's a few pics of the team picking at Lowburn Ferry in April....

Flavours of Central | wine and food

thyme smoked roast lamb

Our end of harvest dinner has become legendary at Lowburn Ferry: in the early days our friends and their families (mostly young) helped out in the vineyard and we showed our thanks by cooking up a big dinner featuring home-grown lamb which was slow-cooked during the day while we worked away in the vineyard. As the vintages have grown, so has the number of we've been so fortunate to have friends Ted and Rhonda Allen from Melbourne, who have come for the past two years to help with the picking and the catering.
This is a recipe Rhonda adapted and we served it for harvest dinner - it features lighting sprigs of wild Central Otago thyme in the oven - creating a wonderful smoking smell which permeates the meat and gives a fantastic Central Otago flavour and aroma to this dish. Served with Lowburn Ferry pinot noir of course! ...see the recipe here Thyme Smoked Roast Lamb...:

About Lowburn Ferry:
Crafted from vines growing in deep organice and loess soils, Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir wines are the product of hard hand labour in an environment where fantastic success or complete failure can balance on a knife edge.

Lowburn Ferry is a consistent winner of accolades and awards demonstrating an exceptionally successful commitment to quality and the attainment of the elusive true Pinot characters that can only be found with the right terroir in the most carefully managed boutique vineyards.

Making Contact

Please contact us or a distributor in your country for our recent Trade Price List. We can also arrange samples or a tasting - please contact or phone (+64 3) 445 0846 any time!

Trade Support

This newsletter is now available in a printable PDF format - download it now and print out to share with your customers and staff. PDF newsletter - click here

Other resources are available on our web site at including:

wine reviews - click here
full wine reviews in PDF format - click here
tasting notes in PDF format - click here

We also have a lovely brochure and poster - email if you need any. We can also send these graphics electronically and we have a no-text version that can be used as a background for translations into other languages.

Lowburn Ferry Wines, Jean & Roger Gibson, Strathburn Farm, 5 Swann Road, RD2, Cromwell 9384, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (3) 445 0846, Fax +64 (3) 445 0840, Email:


This newsletter is sent only occasionally (3-4 times per year. If you do not wish to receive it, send an email to with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the message box. Attached with this email is the newsletter in pdf format.