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Aromas of red fruits greet you on the nose which open to cinnamon & savoury herbs. Generous, silky & textured mouthfeel. Red cherries & dark plums dance on the palate. Fine tannins & great length.
Established in 2001 and dedicated solely to producing Pinot Noir, we believe ‘Akitu’ has been a pioneer in setting the standards for some of the most opulent, exciting and impressive Pinot’s New Zealand has ever seen.
Founded by Central Otago local Andrew Donaldson, the vineyard boasts a humble 12-hectare lot 380-metres above sea level on a stunning, north facing slope in Central Otago’s Upper Clutha basin. There are over 40,000 vines of 6 carefully selected clones planted across the vineyard, each in a place picked specifically based on it’s soil and aspect.
The word ‘Akitu’ is a Maori word that means the apex, or highest point of a mountain. This name was chosen not only because it embodied the area in which the wines were produced, but because it’s a representation of the calibre of the wine inside the bottle. It means ‘Akitu’ strives for excellence, the best, the pinnacle of quality, and we can’t help but agree they have achieved this in every way. If you ever get the chance to visit the winery take a close look at the surrounding mountain ranges, you will see that the font of the logo reflects perfectly against the silhouette of the mountains.
‘Akitu’ only produces two wines. The first of the wines is known as ‘A1’ which is made with the majority of Abel clones. It is aged in 25% French new oak and results in a prestigious, elegant, and precise Pinot Noir that commands your attention. The second is the ‘A2’ which is made with younger vines and boasts generous and juicy fruit flavours. This wine is playful, vibrant and expressive and a true testament to viticulturist Steve Blackmore, who has been tending to the ‘Akitu’ vines for more than a decade now and is proof that patience and Pinot are great partners.
For more information on Akitu and their wines, you can visit their website here.
Found at the extreme limits of winemaking, Central Otago is found at 44° and 45° south and is home to some of the most southerly vineyards the world has to offer. Boasting breathtaking landscapes and an extreme climate, the local economy has garnered global recognition for its merino wool. However, over the previous decade, the majority of land has been shifted away from pasture, to being under vine. In 1996 Otago only had 11 vineyards, while today the region has a legion over 100 strong. The incredibly balanced styles of wine that flow from the region aren’t something to be missed, with Central Otago being the first in the world to challenge Burgundy’s production of Pinot Noir.
Central Otago’s four primary sub-regions are Wanaka, Gibbston, Bannockburn and Alexandra. While all are situated relatively close together and each has the same stony free-draining soil base, their full profiles vary immensely, but are glacially derived and have rich deposits of mica and schist making it ideal for the production of Pinot Noir, which just happens to be 80% of the production there. The excellent drainage helps retain mineral richness whilst temperatures can vary from 30degrees during ripening days to only 8degrees overnight, this swift shift allows the grape ripening process to stop more suddenly overnight, thus retaining all the wonderful natural acidity and fruit concentration this region can offer, to us this provides Central Otago with an intensely fruit-forward character no other region of New Zealand can replicate. Autumn frosts are a risk here too, so it’s just as well the growers down here have their wits about them…