Central Otago Pinot Noir



The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard...

land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north-facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50-hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. Akarua was re-introduced after many years to Liberty Wines by Tony Jordan, who makes their sparkling wines. Tony built Domaine Chandon in Australia, and is one of the world's leading experts in sparkling wine production. He has been convinced of the potential for Central Otago to make top quality fizz for quite a while, and is now doing so with Akarua.

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The Pinot Noir grapes were harvested from two of Akarua's estate vineyards in Bannockburn. The 50 hectare site on Cairnmuir Road lies at 270 metres above sea level. Weakly structured light alluvial soils overlay shist rock. The 21 hectare site on Felton Road lies at 240 metres above sea level. The soil here is young alluvial schist based sandy silt and loams overlaying schist rock. The vines are all 19 years old, VSP trained and spur pruned.

Vintage Information

2015 saw less rain during winter and a very windy October, meaning vine growth started off quite slowly. The weather warmed considerably to above average temperatures throughout spring, enabling healthy vine growth and a favourably short flowering. Central Otago had fantastic summer weather and very warm nights at times, so the season quickly caught up to normal timings and grape maturity progressed well. Cooler periods in February did not change the overall flow of the season and harvest took place at the usual time during March and April.


The grapes were hand picked and 90% were destemmed. Pre-fermentation maceration took place over five days, with temperatures peaking at 31°C. Punch downs took place twice daily and post fermentation maceration lasted six days. The wine spent 10 months in French barriques, 30% of which were new.

Tasting Notes

Deep bright ruby in colour, this wine showcases intense black fruit flavours and the complexity that Bannockburn Pinot Noir is renowned for, with haunting aromatics of bramble fruits and spice. The palate is elegantly balanced with red fruits and finely textured tannins. This is a wine with great poise and longevity.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2015
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Bannockburn, Central Otago
Winemaker Matt Connell
Alcohol (ABV) 14.5%
Acidity 5g/l
Residual Sugar 0.2g/l
Wine pH 3.56