Home' QT Magazine : QT Spring Magazine Contents Quartz Reef’s remarkable story is continuing to
evolve on the arid, sun-drenched terraces at Bendigo,
near Tarras. Here passionate winemaker Rudi Bauer,
one of the founders of the vineyard back in the late
1990s, is enjoying working with mature vines in his
quest to create exceptional wines.
This somewhat harsh land which lured goldminers
seeking their fortune in the 1860s has been home to
fine-wool merino sheep for almost as long and today
is gaining an international reputation for world-class
wine production. Much of the credit is attributed to
Rudi who as a professional and hugely experienced
winemaker is making a significant contribution to the
Quartz Reef sparkling wines are seen as being
consistently the best in Central Otago and the pinots
have earned similar accolades in countless wine
reviews over the past decade.
The winery’s vines grow on north facing terraces
underlain with a mass of quartz rock. It is the largest
quartz reef in New Zealand and the vineyard sits
upon its covering of clay, fine gravel and quartz soils
in one block and sandy loams in another.
Once part of the vast fine wool property, Bendigo
Station, the vineyard’s dry, sunny aspect lends itself
to producing a “symphony of flavours that capture
the attention,” according to Rudi.
He sees his job as passing on the message from
this uniquely-located vineyard to wine enthusiasts.
A new message this season will be delivered in the
much-anticipated production of a Gruner Veltliner, a
white wine with a reputation for ageing beautifully
and being extremely food-friendly. Expectations are
high for the new vintage which will be sourced from
vines that are celebrating their fourth harvest.
Since 2007 Quartz Reef has been implementing
biodynamic practices gaining full Demeter
Biodynamic certification in November 2011 and
becoming one of only six vineyards in New Zealand
to achieve this level.
He says the aim of following the natural practices,
developed by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s, is to
support the soil and develop an increased vitality in
a bid to produce the best definition and reflection of
the grapes from the unique Quartz Reef vineyard.
Akarua is Central Otago’s largest family-owned
vineyard spearheaded by former Dunedin mayor and
entrepreneur Sir Clifford Skeggs, who was one of the
early investors in the region’s wine industry in 1995.
Akarua was planted out the following year and two
years later over 80,000 vines had been planted and
expansion continued on the 50 hectare elevated,
sunny site at Bannockburn. Recently the company has
acquired two other vineyards, one on Felton Road and
the other in Lowburn, which has boosted the size of
the venture to 100 hectares.
Sir Clifford was driven by a love of the region and a
passion for the burgeoning wine industry which has
been passed on to his son David who is at the helm of
Akarua, widely recognised for its award-winning pinot
noir wines. Pinot noir makes up to 85% of plantings
along with Akarua’s other varietals is exported all over
There is strong demand for the Akarua label which
includes pinot gris, chardonnay, riesling, rosé and
Akarua’s Deborah Adams says the winery’s Cellar Door
is continuing to grow in popularity as it is discovered
by more and more overseas visitors, travelling Kiwis
“Set on Cairnmuir Road amongst the towering poplar
trees and vines, the Cellar Door is a wonderful place
for visitors to experience the warmth and flavours of
Central Otago. The doors are open every day from
10.30am until 4.00pm for complimentary tastings and
we have been delighted to see the growth in visitors
to our unique Bannockburn environment.”
The Cellar Door staff are passionate about Akarua and
love sharing stories of the vineyard and the region.
“They also love imparting their intimate knowledge
of our diverse range of unique wines,” says Deborah.
Pre-booked tours of the vineyard and winery are
popular during summer and visitors can arrange
for wines to be shipped to their homes anywhere
in the world.
FAMILY PASSION FOR AKARUA WINES By JIll Herron
QTMAGAZINE SPRING 2014 QT.CO.NZ
QUARTZ REEF QUEST FOR
Akarua’s winemaker Matt Connell is a perfectionist. For
the past six years he has been crafting exceptional Pinot
Noirs and, more recently sparkling wines, reinforcing
the winery’s growing national and international profile.
The Akarua Sparkling Wines were released in 2012
and the Akarua Rosé Brut has been described by wine
experts as “sensational and seductive”.
won top honours in the prestigious Romeo Bragato
Wine Awards last year and a gold medal in the Air
New Zealand Wine Awards. Its stable mate the Akarua
Brut also earned gold ahead of tough competition at
the latter awards. The success for Akarua Rosé has
since continued winning the Gow Langsford Gallery
Trophy at the renowned Spiegelau International Wine
Competition in Marlborough in July.
By JIll Herron
WINEMAKER SEEKS PERFECTION
Cellar Door Hours: 10.30am-4pm (7 Days)
Rapid No 210, Cairnmuir Road
Bannockburn, Central Otago 9384
P: +64 (03) 445 0897 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Akarua is located 7km south of Cromwell.
Turn left after the historic Bannockburn bridge and
then follow our signs (approx 2km) to Akarua.
6-8 Hughes Crescent
PO Box 63 Cromwell
T: +64 3 445 3084 E: email@example.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/QuartzReefWines
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