A Wine Writers View on the World of Wine. Formerly Magics Wine Guide and Reviews for Newbies
Although production fell by 23% in some of the larger regions such as Marlborough in 2012, smaller regions such as Central Otago, Gisborne and Waipara saw an increase on 2011.
This, Paul Donaghy, general manager of Rockburn, told the drinks business, “will see pressure put on Central Otago in a positive way.
“Marlborough Pinot Noir was down 6,000 tonnes vs 2011 and Central Otago is up 804 tonnes so we will see more buyers looking at Central Otago as a result of the Marlborough producers drop off in volume.
“Central Otago probably has a stigma that we don’t have the scale of supply,” he added, “however there are a handful of premium producers that do have the scale (Rockburn being one).
“We produce Devils Staircase (15,000 cases) which is our entry point Pinot Noir and we have the ability to ramp up production quite easily.
“We produce 6,500 cases (9L) of our premium Pinot Noir so it would be fair to say we can meet the demands of most major accounts.”
The small harvest lead New Zealand Winegrower’s CEO, Philip Gregan, to say that the coming year would be about “value rather than volume growth,” which is a situation that suits Central Otago well.
Donaghy admitted that trying to build awareness of other new Zealand regions and build a brand on top of that was a challenge.
“Clearly there is the issue of Central Otago coming in behind the Marlborough phenomenon,” he said.
“But in recent years the news hasn’t always been good with Marlborough,” he continued, a statement backed up by reports over the years of large crops and winery closures.
Story by Rupert Millar
Courtesy of the Drinks Business