Deep in the south of New Zealand and surrounded by mountain ranges is Central Otago New Zealand’s smallest but fastest growing wine region and home to some of the finest vineyards in the country. Central Otago has a continental climate hot summers and long cold winters and in small pockets of the region the combination of microclimate and unique soil conditions are perfect for growing the fickle Pinot Noir grape. The Pinot Noirs from Central Otago have been rapidly gaining international acclaim.
Lowburn Ferry is the area surrounding an historic ferry crossing over the mighty Clutha River. A picturesque lake now occupies the ferry site at the base of the Lowburn Valley and vineyards abound on the surrounding glacial terraces where goldminers once toiled in the hot Otago sun.
Nestled on a sheltered north facing terrace in the Lowburn Valley beneath the Pisa Range is Lowburn Ferry Vineyard, a family owned vineyard dedicated to the production of high quality Pinot Noir wine. The vines are hand tended to maximise the benefits of the unique terroir and microclimate.
Lowburn Ferry Pinot Noir 2003, the first wine produced from this vineyard, won trophies for Champion Wine, Champion Red Wine and Champion Pinot Noir at the NZ Winegrowers 2005 Bragato Wine Awards. The success followed a run of serious reviews from notable wine writers including a rating of 18 out of 20 by UK wine critic Jancis Robinson, and five star honours in Cuisine magazine.
Peter Bartle - Winemaker
Lowburn Ferry wines are made at Vinpro under the direction of chief winemaker Peter Bartle. Pete started his winemaking career in the Hawkes Bay and after graduating with honours spent five years learning the ropes at Villa Maria Estate, three months at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa, California, a year as Assistant Winemaker at Forrest Estate in Marlborough, and four years as Winemaker at Olssens in Central Otago before joining Peregrine in October 2004.
Lowburn Ferry Vineyard is nestled on a sheltered north facing terrace in the Lowburn Valley beneath the Pisa Range in Central Otago.
Planting of Lowburn Ferry Vineyard began in 2000, on terraces that had been in pasture for more than 100 years. This had allowed organic matter to build up in the soils, complementing the natural supply of nutrients derived from schist parent material. The resulting healthy soils have excellent biological activity which enhances the terroir of the site.
Currently 3.5ha of the 35ha property are planted in Pinot Noir grapes - in roughly an equal mix of clones 5, 115, 667 and 777, and a smaller new block of Abel - with approximately 75% of the vineyard on a variety of rootstocks. The vineyard is managed for low cropping yields, and a minimum spray regime is maintained. The remaining land is farmed with Merino sheep.
Lowburn Ferry vineyard is located on part of what was once known as the Partridge Farm - one of the earliest farms settled in the Lowburn Valley
Initially just ½ an acre was purchased by George Partridge in 1867 - a goldminer who had come from Australia to work in the goldfields at Quartz Reef Point - having travelled inland by the Dunstan Trail over the mountains from Dunedin on foot, carrying his swag.
The Partridge family were well known and respected in the district, and later a further 100 acres was added to the farm. A cluster of stone buildings was built - stables, a dairy, coach house, chaff house and a stone cow shed.
When we bought the farm in 1991 one of its prime attractions to us was the stone buildings - and we converted the stone stable our home. Our interest in the early history of the valley is reflected in our vineyard name - Lowburn Ferry - being the historic name of the Lowburn settlement.
- Lowburn Ferry Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008 (Liquorland Top 100 2010, Gold Medal Winners)
- LOWBURN FERRY CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR 2008 (Sydney International Wine Competition 2010, Award Winning Wines)
- LOWBURN FERRY HOME BLOCK CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR 2009 (Sydney International Wine Competition 2011, Award Winning Wines)
- LOWBURN FERRY - HOME BLOCK PINOT NOIR - 2010 (Sydney International Wine Competition 2012, Award Winning Wines)
- LOWBURN FERRY - HOME BLOCK PINOT NOIR - 2011 (Sydney International Wine Competition 2013, Award Winning Wines)
- Lowburn Ferry Pinot Noir 2006 (Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2008, Gold Medal and Trophy Winners)
- Lowburn Ferry Home Block Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2010, Gold Medal and Trophy Winners)
- Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012, Pure Elite Gold (Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013, Trophy and Gold Medal Wines)
- Lowburn Ferry Pinot Noir, 2007 (International Wine Challenge 2009)
- Lowburn Ferry Home Block 2009 (Bragato Wine Awards 2010, Gold Medal and Trophy Winners)