valli wines from otago new zealand now at the vine press
When it comes to Pinot Noir, it doesn’t get much better than this – the 2006 Valli Gibston Valley Pinot Noir from central Otago in NZ. Another fine Kiwi to add to our list, here at The Vine Press.
Here’s a bit of background:
In 1998 Grant Taylor established his own label, Valli, and purchased 6.5ha in Gibbston. Grant purchases fruit from Bannockburn and Waitaki to produce two other single vineyard
Otago Pinot Noirs. Valli’s aim is to produce single vineyard premium Pinot Noirs highlighting the differences in Otago’s subregions.
Gibbston Vineyard (p l a n t ed in 2000), Valli’s Gibbston vineyard was the first vineyard in the valley to be planted in true north to south direction, maximizing the amount of sunlight hours the vines receive. This contributes dramatically to the uniform ripening of fruit, a critical factor in Pinot Noir quality.
Gibbston is one of the coolest sub regions of Otago and consequently has one of the slowest ripening seasons. One of the key factors in quality Pinot Noir from such a cool area is long hang time i.e. the amount of time the grapes are on the
vine; this allows them to develop elegance and complexity of flavour. Often the Pinot Noir is not picked until early May.
The location of Valli’s Bannockburn Vineyard (planted in 1996) is only 20km from Gibbston in the Cromwell basin but the difference in climate is markedly noted in the wines. The wines reflect this warmer area
by displaying darker fruits and generally being more powerful.
WaitakiVineyard (Planted in 2001), North Otago is New Zealand’s newest and most exciting wine growing region. Like Burgundy, the soils are limestone based, and after only one commercial vintage, they are already
seeing great perfume and minerality in the wines.
A bit about the winemaker… Grant Taylor…. Profile Winemaker Grant Taylor
Born in Otago New Zealand, Grant began his career in 1990 in the Napa Valley California but was lured back to his homeland in 1997 where he saw the potential for Otago wines. He became Gibbston Valley’s winemaker when there were only 50 hectares of grapes in Otago; today there are over 1600ha. Grant has made wine for Gibbston Valley for 13 years leaving in 2006 to concentrate on Valli. Throughout his career in New Zealand, he has made the first wines for a number of other very successful Otago wineries. Grant’s winemaking for the past 14 years has been dedicated primarily to Pinot Noir. In 1995 he helped to establish Oregon’s renowned Pinot Noir producing winery, Archery Summit and has consulted there for most vintages since. Like a number of other Australian and New Zealand Pinot producers he has worked at Domaine Dujac in Burgundy. Having just completed 40 vintages Grant is looking forward to the
next 40 and how much knowledge they will bring in helping to understand Otago’s potential.