Central Otago

Central Otago ist Neuseelands höchstgelegenes Weinanbaugebiet. Mit seiner Lage auf dem 45. südlichen Breitengrad ist die Region gleichzeitig das südlichste Weinanbaugebiet der Welt. Umgeben von Bergen und übersät mit Gebirgsseen und tiefen Stromschluchten ist Central Otago zugleich das spektakulärste Weinanbaugebiet Neuseelands. Die Lage innerhalb der Gebirgsketten führt zu einem halbkontinentalen Klima mit sehr kalten Wintern, heißen Sommern, kühlen Nachttemperaturen und sehr niedrigen Niederschlagsmengen. Dieses einzigartige Klima in Verbindung mit Böden zumeist glazialen Ursprungs, mit reichhaltigen Einlagerungen an Glimmer und Schiefer, bietet perfekte Bedingungen besonders für Pinot Noir. Mit dieser Rebsorte sind 80 Prozent der Fläche bepflanzt, die hier ausdrucksvolle, elegante Weine hervorbringt. Die Region produziert außerdem sehr erfolgreich Weißweine: vor allem Riesling, Pinot Gris und Chardonnay. Die Weine aus Central Otago reflektieren mit ihrer Reinheit, Intensität und Ausstrahlung das spezielle Terroir der Region und die absolut reine, klare Gebirgsluft.

1932 10,5 2,4%

SOURCE: New Zealand Winegrower's Vineyard Register Report & Annual Report

Planting data

Plantings and Styles (2014)

(Producing hectares)

Pinot Noir 1.484ha

Flagship variety whose reputation increases as the region and its vines mature. Fragrant, lush fruit underpinned by taut structure, silky texture and true intensity. There are marked differences in sub-regional styles.

Aromatics 330ha

Pinot Gris - 226ha, Riesling - 86ha, Gewürztraminer - 18ha

Riesling stands out; plus smart Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. Styles range from austerely dry to decadently sweet but always sparkling fruit and precise structure.

Chardonnay 52ha

Citrus and mineral characters, tightly structured, fine-bodied and sophisticated; can
be reserved when young but unfold with great complexity and elegance.

Sauvignon Blanc 45ha

Mineral and gunflint with herbaceousness overlain by pineapple and passionfruit. Crisp linear structure, refreshing acidity and dry, stony finishes are hallmarks.


Perfumed and pretty Rosés, frequently made by saignée method make delicious aperitifs; and firm, complex yet delicate Méthode Traditionelles garner critical recognition.

6 5 4 3 2 1

1 Wanaka

This sub-region, lying 80km and a couple of mountain ranges north of Queenstown, boasts one of the world’s most picturesque vineyards. Cooler and slightly wetter than the Queenstown/Cromwell area, beautiful Lake Wanaka provides welcome reflected radiation and mitigates frost producing delicate and vivid wines.

2 Gibbston

Situated east of Queenstown along the spectacular Kawarau Gorge, Gibbston hasn’t looked back since the first commercial bottling in 1987. The highest sub-region, its cooler climate and north-facing hillside vines ripen later than neighbouring sub-regions, giving lighter though still intense wines.

3 Bannockburn

On the south bank of the Kawarau River at the southern terminus of the Cromwell Valley, the vineyards occupy one of the warmest, driest sites in the region (harvest can be up to a month ahead of Gibbston) producing highly distinctive and complex wines.

4 Alexandra

Feraud’s 1864 plantings were here, and his stone winery still stands within its spectacular schist landscapes. The most southerly sub-region, the climate is dry and runs to extremes in both summer and winter but the marked diurnal variation right up to harvest gives vividly varietal, aromatic, finely structured wines.

5 Bendigo

Northeast of Cromwell, Bendigo is possibly the warmest of all the sub-regions with vines planted on gentle north facing slopes. Wide-scale plantings (in the context of the region) on stony soils are capturing the extreme climate’s hot summer sun and cold clear nights.

6 Cromwell/Lowburn/Pisa

This area is located on the western side of Lake Dunstan stretching north for some 25km from the township of Cromwell. The majority of plantings are situated on the lower terraces and valley floor running parallel to the snow-capped Pisa mountain range producing seductive wines. 

Map key Subregion Vineyard

Find Central Otago wine near you


The world’s southernmost wine region and the country’s highest, in this semi-continental climate frosts are an accepted and planned for hazard, however the marked diurnal variation, high sunshine and short, hot summers provide an eloquent, if brutal, landscape for vines: site selection is everything. dry autumns and overall low humidity are significant assets, helping to coax both amazing purity and complexity.



SOURCE: MetService Climate Summary 1971-2000


Central Otago soils are moderately old (often windblown loess) formed over successive ice ages as the glaciers ground schist rocks to a fine flour. Layers of loess at various depths are interspersed with river gravels with the addition of sandier soils formed by water erosion. Soils are therefore free draining even when heavy in texture. The low rainfall keeps leaching effects low so there is a good level of minerality present but low levels of organic matter. The result is a soil low in vigour but high in mineral richness with the ability to use irrigation to keep vines at the desired degree of controlled stress so as to provide optimum fruit quality. All of these attributes have combined to result in Central Otago standing on the world stage as a unique winegrowing terroir, from which premium quality boutique wines are made.