Synchronicity led us to Bendigo. Unsurprisingly. It was an area we knew was coming on. On the same latitude as other renowned Pinot Noir regions it was only a matter of time.

A Reputation for Wine

“There is no better country on the face of the earth for the production of [Pinot Noir] grapes than Central Otago” - Romeo Bragato, Government Viticulturalist 1895


Bendigo is a rapidly expanding grape-growing sub-region. Like other parts of ‘Central’ this was a rabbit infested area, where merino sheep were extensively farmed. It is probably the hottest, most extreme part of the Cromwell Basin. The earlier European settlers were gold miners working the quartz reefs. More recent immigrants have recognised the aspect and soils of Bendigo are perfect for growing the modern gold rush - fine wine grapes.

The Soil

Bendigo, lying east of the Clutha River and Lake Dunstan has both intermediate (220 metres) and higher terraces (330 to 350) planted in grapes. This warm area has semi arid, variable depth, free draining soils at the lower levels, often more than 10 metres deep, with shallower soils higher up.


These soils are the result of glacial and river (erosion and flooding) action. The free draining soils are good for grapes. There is little excessive water retention, and the moderately low fertility soils have limited nutrients which ensure the vines put energy into the fruit rather than metres of canes and leaf.

The Climate

The climate in Central Otago is the closest thing New Zealand has to a continental climate. It has low annual rainfall. The high mountains to the West drain most of the moisture from the weather systems before they get to the Cromwell basin. The temperature range is large with lots of chill in winter to kill the bugs, and high summer temperatures to ripen the grapes. High diurnal temperature range in summer and autumn (hot days, cool nights) help us achieve pure fruit flavours and great concentration. This is what makes it so exciting making wines at the edge of ‘cool climate’ winemaking!

The Grapes

The modern pioneers in Central tried many grape varieties in the 1980’s. The quality of the Pinot Noirs stood out. Here is a region that can grow Pinot Noir to rival Burgundy (France) and Oregon (USA).


In Bendigo the Pinot Noir vines enjoy the arid soils and the warm climate. The vines produce grapes that express the ‘terrior’. Rich black cherry and floral elements lead to richness in the mouth, based on fine tannins and generous mouthfilling flavours that are very more-ish.

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