Folding Hill is a boutique wine company dedicated to producing fine pinot noir from its own 10 acre vineyard on the northern terraces of Bendigo Creek in Central Otago, New Zealand.
Attention to detail in the vineyard enables us to take gentle, hands off approach to winemaking. This allows the wine to fully reflect the special place it comes from.
Folding Hill was an easy place to fall in love with. We had looked at over 30 potential sites in Central Otago by the time we walked out onto a bare sheep paddock nestled on a northern terrace of Bendigo Creek in 2001. It was deepest winter, the sky was azure and cloudless, the Pisa range covered in fresh snow. We felt the magic of the place.
Since that first visit we have taken a single minded approach to producing the very best Pinot Noir possible from our special part of the world.
Advised by legendary Central Otago viticulturist Robin Dicey, planting of our first vines commenced in late 2003. We carefully selected clones and rootsocks proven locally to make wines with complexity, flavour, balance and length and have done everything possible to ensure the vines have been able to reach their full potential. We strongly believe that low yields are of paramount importance in creating outstanding Pinot Noir and we manage our vines intensively through the growing season to ensure crop levels are around 3.5 - 4.5 tonnes per hectare.
Our approach to winemaking is based on the traditional philosophy and practices of the 'Old World'. We believe that hand picking optimally ripe fruit and then gently guiding it through vinification with as little intervention as possible allows us to produce elegant wines with flavour and structure that authentically reflect the special place they come from - wines that really are "Handmade from Central Otago"
We strongly believe that by carefully looking after our land and our vines we are able to maximise the quality of the wine we produce.
Bendigo's free draining gravel soils combine with an ideal climate to create the perfect terroir for growing pinot noir grapes and from the outset we have placed the highest importance on growing the very best quality fruit possible.
The vines at Folding Hill are a mixture of UCD 5, UCD 6, Abel and Dijon clones (113, 114, 115, 667, 777) grafted onto a variety of phylloxera resistant rootstocks (Schwartzmann, Riparia Gloire, 3309 and 101-14)
Almost all of our viticulture is done by hand. The vines are spur pruned in the winter and we use a vertical shoot positioning canopy system. Inground water monitoring allows us to precisely meet the vines' irrigation requirements.
Crop loads are kept very low by shoot thinning and also by selective bunch thinning after fruit set. Typically our yields are between 3.5 and 4.5 tonnes / hectare and we believe that cropping at this very low level is a key contributor to the concentration of our wines.
We have a growing flock of organic Wiltshire sheep which are used to graze the vineyard outside of the growing season.
- Folding Hill Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2011, Gold Medal and Trophy Winners)
- Folding Hill Pinot Noir, 2008 (International Wine Challenge 2010)