Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2014
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Red brambly fruit flavours, dark berries & spiced intensity embody this wine. Soft & supple with generous tannins, weight & length. Prepare to be wooed (ha).
‘Wooing Tree’ is a family owned and operated single vineyard site located in Central Otago that was established in 2004. Stephen and Thea Farquharson and Stephen’s sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Geoff Bews run the business and all come from farming backgrounds. The team have a collective focus: A commitment to producing top quality grapes and making wines that truly reflect their site.
Steve studied viticulture, winemaking, the wine trade and WSET Diploma in Wine at Plumpton College in the UK. He then set up a wine importing company, ‘Extreme Wines’, selling wine in the UK from 2003 to 2004. Jane also studied viticulture at Plumpton College. They came back to Cromwell to run the vineyard at the end of 2004 and produced their first vintage in 2005. Their wine is made by award winning winemaker Peter Bartle and his team.
There was a special tree on the land called ‘the Wooing Tree’ which had long been a popular place for tourists and locals alike. An impending removal of the tree to make way for the vineyard prompted locals to campaign to save it. Turned out the tree had a special place in locals’ hearts and when the family learnt of its history and local importance, it was decided the tree had to stay and that this was the obvious name for the vineyard and image for the wine label.
‘The Wooing Tree’ label produces eight different varietals and our favourites here are the ‘Wooing Tree Pinot Noir’ which is a wine boasting ripe cherries, plums and a spicy complexity. Their ‘Blondie’ shows delightful aromas of peach and cream with red berries and stone fruit flavours in it.
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…