Tag: Central Otago

Sip: Chasing Harvest Riesling 2014

As we have been through Central Otago on a virtual tasting tour, I thought we would celebrate one our of own, and the incredible story they are so humble about and the great wines that they produce. Having originally met them in Argentina when they came for harvest, I was so happy that our paths crossed again here in the beautiful terrain of New Zealand. Read More

Sip: Kalex Pinot Noir 2011

After visiting Wine AKL over the weekend, a great tasting event where you get to meet wineries and wines you have never previously met or imbibed before, we were introduced to this small south island gem. I love when you get to have Central Otago come to you!

I am learning more about “Central” as the locals like to say, and have to say that all the smaller producers in the region are doing really great things as well as raising the profile of what terroir means to New Zealand and for New Zealand wine overall outside of our island. (Yes, New Zealand is technically an island, or two if you are specific)

Definitely check out their website for the full story but I really liked how this wine gives you the inspiration to overcome obstacles, something we all probably need to be reminded of and how better than by enjoying a beautiful bottle of Central Otago Pinot.

On to the review!

Kalex 2011 Pinot Noir

Central Otago (South of the South Island) and incidentally one of the best regions for Pinot, on the same latitudes, around 45 degrees, as Burgundy and the Willamette Valley in Oregon

Bannockburn, Gibbston

Like a scholarly professor that has the proper checked shirt, bow tie and oxford shoes, it is perfectly presented and has an air of sophistication and reserved knowledge. All the boxes are checked and this one makes you want to show up to learn something more about Pinot.

A rich story unfolds with lots of dark plums and cherries that roll into roasted caramel and toasty oak. It finishes, as you do at a good campfire with a well cooked marshmallow, with a long finish of sweet and slightly burnt flavours that make you instantly crave the next go.


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Meet the Maker: Sofia Elena

Winemaker from Argentina and Vineyard & Winery Assistant at Burn Cottage in Central Otago.

I’m almost an expert in tasting grape juice and wine and I’m passionate about great aromas and tastes. I’m also knowledgeable about wine chemistry, microbiology and how wine evolves as well as viticulture, technology, machinery used for winemaking and health practices for the food industry.

Number of years in the wine industry:
5 years.

First Job:
Cellar hand in Viña Cobos, Paul Hobbs’ winery in Mendoza.

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
An elegant, long, fruity but complex and lasting Pinot Noir or white wine from any region & winemaker who put lots of love and time into it.

What would you do if you wouldn’t be a winemaker?
Travel expert, counsellor, translator … maybe veterinarian.

Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
Before turning 30 I found myself wanting to start another career I’m really passionate about and, knowing that I love good wine and following my friends´ advice, I started talking to people related to the wine industry. After all that, I decided that I wanted to start all over again and study, I really enjoyed it and it was the best decision I ever made!

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
A few favourite matches: Juicy Malbec & Asado because I’m Argentinean. Cote Rotie with tête de veau because it’s very French (I love France). Any good Bourgogne wine and local Bourgogne cheese. And any great wine that makes you talk about it, matched with good friends that love wine.

Hidden gems and favourite spots in Central Otago:
To name a few, Rippon in Wanaka, Mt Edward in Gibbston, Hawkdun Rise wines in Alexandra, Sato wines (a small producer of natural wines), Brennan in Gibbston Valley, and of course Burn Cottage is a hidden gem as well.

Things you still want to do:
Lots of things but mainly learn how to make great white wines in a region where they are very difficult to produce (South America). Make my own wines.

Last book read:
Peter Proctor, Grasp the Nettle.

Advice on buying wine:
Buy a different wine each time, try different things and learn what you like, buy from small producers and by region, not by brand…just because you might find a gem with an excellent price-quality ratio from whom you never heard about, and if possible do blind tastings, educate yourself.

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
Frida Kahlo, although she liked hard liquor & tequila, I’m sure she’d appreciate wine and write an awesome and passionate description about it.

You can find out more about Burn Cottage here.


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