Published on : Friday, August 23, 2019
Waitaki which is just three-hour drive north from the famed vines of the Gibbston Valley in Central Otago is a region dotted with boutique wineries with focus on quality.
The younger Waitaki region is known for high quality standard due to limestone soil like those in Burgundy.
Jenn Parr, winemaker at Valli Vineyards the Waitaki Valley is one of New Zealand’s smallest wine regions, producing world class Pinot Noir, aromatic whites and a handful of truly special Chardonnays.
The Waitaki River or Te Waitaki o Aoraki cuts through the valley and it refers to the tears of local Maori ancestor Aoraki/ Mt Cook who watches them from afar.
The river silts and makeup of the soil is unique from any other region in New Zealand.
River T, like most of the wineries in Waitaki, is the last to harvest each year in New Zealand, around the end of April and sometimes well into May.
The grapes are allowed to stay on the vine longer and flavor develops more than its Central Otagao cousin this results in higher acidity levels and provides freshness and balance. It in fact makes it complex and delicious.
One can reach Waitaki in just over three hours and Dunedin in another two hours. Oamaru can be an ideal place to base yourself for the visit, it is known for Victorian architecture, two penguin colonies and steampunk culture.