Akarua Wines is a big wine brand from a beautiful corner of the world, Bannockburn, Central Otago, where its 50 hectares of grapes are devoted mostly to Pinot Noir which occupies 90% of its vineyard area. The remaining 10% is shared by Chardonnay and Pinot Gris with a smidgeon of deliciously refreshing Riesling for good measure. Its grapes grow on three different soil types. The lower 11.5 hectare vineyard is on sandy silt, the biggest 25.5 hectare terrace is planted on rock and gravel while the 13 hectare sloping hillside block is planted on wind blown silt over a layer of schist and rock. Each soil type has a significant impact on the style of wines made.
We have three tasty drops from this popular Otago winery for you to choose this week.
We all know rosé is on a roll and here’s a beautifully fruity expression of it from Central Otago. It’s medium salmon in colour and off dry but this wine’s crisp bright acidity adds zesty flavours to the finish which suggests a dryness in taste. It’s 100% Pinot Noir, as we would generally expect, given it is from Central Otago, the fourth biggest wine region and leading Pinot region in New Zealand. This is a lovely, light, fresh wine. Drink lightly chilled year round.
North facing slopes in Bannockburn ensure the grapes in this wine gain maximum ripeness in this cool, southern climate. Average vine age is 21 to 22 years old, which can reduce yields (the amount of grapes harvested) and concentrate flavours as a result. We’re sure you’ll agree this dry, fruity, spicy expression of Pinot Noir puts its best foot forward.
Pinot Gris is the fourth most planted grape in New Zealand and finds its best expression, we think, in the deep south. The region’s cool climate provides crisp, refreshing acidity and steely flavours that balance Pinot Gris’ innately soft character. A win-win.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com.
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!