25 Steps Vineyard
Carved step by step into the edge of the Sugar Loaf at the base of the Pisa Range in Lowburn, Central Otago, our distinctive 25 Steps vineyard is perfect for growing great Pinot Noir.
Our Pinot bears the imprint of this hard-wrought landscape and the often extreme weather conditions of Central Otago. We nurture and craft each vintage as part of a growing legacy one we hope will be as lasting, substantial and full of character as the vineyard itself.
Award-winning winemaker Carol Bunn and her team at Vinpro in nearby Cromwell also worked with us right from the start. Carol has an intimate knowledge of the wider region and particularly the vagaries of Pinot Noir.
Carol has produced two outstanding Pinot Noirs for us in 2006 and 2007. These are the perfect first steps on our journey towards creating a legacy that does justice to the outstanding vineyard and the passion of our team.
Before there were the 25 steps, there was a steep, nearly rock-hard slope that everyone from the early sheep-farming pioneers of Otago to its latter-day viticulturists had left alone.
Ancient river rock and gravel formations make up the slope, while the flat plateau above is covered in sparse topsoil. The ground is infertile and free draining. The north-facing, elevated aspect ensures all-day sun and a long ripening season. It also brings the added bonus that heat is reflected from the slope onto the vines.
In this part of the world, it can get scorching hot during the day and near freezing at night. Its the perfect terroir for Pinot Noir.
The 25 Steps vineyard lies in the heart of the Central Otagos main winegrowing area, overlooking Lake Dunstan, some 8 km north of Cromwell.
The severe pitch of the land meant our vineyard had to be carved into the hillside one step at a time, with just enough room on each terrace to plant only one or two rows of vines. Only a third of the vines were planted on the flat land at the top of the plateau.
Our vineyard is planted solely in Pinot Noir, including Dijon clones 115, 667 & 777, Pommard clones (UCD 5 & 6) as well as the AM 10/5 clone from Switzerland.
There is no other vineyard like 25 Steps.