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Akarua


Central Otago, as a viticultural region, arguably more than any other New Zealand wine growing region, has rapidly gained international market and media credibility for producing pinot noir. Pioneers in the 1980's such as Alan Brady at Gibbston, Vernon & Sue Burgess at Alexandra and Rolf & Lois Mills in Wanaka, had defied all nay-sayers by producing serious wines under the most challenging circumstances and this activated a surge of enthusiasm and investment in the industry over the next two decades. Scientific temperature data that had been collated by engineers that were building the nearby Clyde dam in the 1980's identified Bannockburn in particular as possessing seasonal temperatures and weather characteristics that were akin to Burgundy. The Skeggs family had a long association with Central Otago after holidaying there since the 1970's and in the mid 1990's. Sir Clifford Skeggs was in the first cluster of people to commit to this region on a large scale and therefore managed to secure one of the finest elevated North facing sites in Bannockburn. Vines at Akarua were first planted in 1996 and further vineyard development has progressed in the intervening period. In 2014, Akarua purchased a further 50 hectares in Felton Road and Lowburn, bringing their total vineyard acreage to approximately 100 hectares. A small vintage was produced in 1999 from the new Akarua winery and over time as vine age increased along with knowledge of the site, quality has been on the rise year by year. Since Akarua Pinot Noir’s first trophy awarded in 2002 by Air New Zealand Wine Awards, a Trophy has been awarded for each vintage since 2009 to date, proving the continuing consistency and quality of our flagship pinot noir.