New Zealand's newest wine region, Waitaki is an breathtakingly beautiful, remote valley between Canterbury and Central Otago. The challenging climate (constant risk of severe frost) has earned the region the distinction of being a marginal viticultural area, with Pinot Noir grapes being the star performer.
The area was first planted in 2001 and the vineyards are mostly small, intensively managed and produce a range of distinctive cool climate wines (Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürtztraminer, with a small quantity of Arneis).
Brothers-in-law Jeff Sinnott and Jim Jerram have been the pioneers in Waitaki. In 2002 they founded Ostler Wines to produce distinctive, low-yielding, cool climate wines.
The resulting long and slow fruit ripening process, and the region's complex geological origins (with limestone, alluvial greywacke and schist soils) contribute to wines that demonstrate a distinctive minerality and freshness of fruit flavours.
These wines frequently possess a notable lingering finish on the palate in addition to fragrant aromatics. Gewürztraminer is especially fragrant, with rose petals, lychee, cinnamon & ginger characters.