The Central Otago wine region of New Zealand has some serious records regarding climate. It is one of the hottest, driest and coldest places. It experiences these extremes because it's cut off from the rest of South Island by mountains [source: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand].
Central Otago is divided into six sub-regions:
- Bannockburn [source: Central Otago Pinot Noir]
Each sub-region is subject to its own weather, enabling the Central Otago wine region to produce a wide variety of whites and reds. As a whole, Central Otago is the most southern wine region in the world [source: New Zealand Wine]. The area is comprised of schist (flakey rock) and loess. Loess is the true gem of Central Otago because it greatly contributes to the successful cultivation of Pinot Noir grapes [source: Central Otago Pinot Noir]. The low rainfall and high mineral content add to the richness of the region's soil.
Wine growers and winemakers of New Zealand can seek advice and find the latest research via many professional resources and organizations including:
- Central Otago Winegrowers Association (COWA)
- New Zealand Grapevine Improvement Group (NZVIG)
- Wine Institute of New Zealand (WINZ)
- New Zealand Grape Growers Council (NZGGC) [source: COWA]
Together, the wine growers of Central Otago are dedicated to producing excellent wines. Want to try some of the region's specialties? Read on to learn about some of the famous wines of the Central Otago wine region.