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About Central Otago Wine Region

Central Ridge Boutique Hotel is perfectly situated to access the world famous Central Otago Wine Region. Central Ridge Boutique Hotel can advise you on wine tasting tours.

The Central Otago Wine Region is the most southerly wine producing region in the world. The vineyards are also the highest in New Zealand at 200 to 400 metres above sea level where they cling precariously to the steep slopes of lake sides and the edges of deep river gorges, often also in glacial soils. Central Otago is a sheltered inland area with a continental micro climate characterised by hot, dry summers, short, cool autumns and crisp, cold winters.

Occupation of the region started with the gold rush in 1860, but a French immigrant gold miner, Jean Desire Feraud, soon started planting vines and embarking upon small-scale commercial wine production — even winning medals in Australian wine competitions. Late in the nineteenth century, the New Zealand government hired a winemaker to survey the country (see Romeo Bragato). He singled out Central Otago as a region of utmost potential. While this early experimentation showed the wine-growing potential of the region, the wine industry did not survive for long on a commercial basis (see New Zealand Wine). Once the gold rush abated, the Central Otago economy turned to sheep farming and fruit production, and — once the world began to discover the stark natural beauty of its mountains and lakes — to skiing and tourism.

Starting in the 1950s, and up through the end of the 1970s, small scale trial plantings of vines began again both by private individuals and under the auspices of the New Zealand Department of Agriculture. By 1980 sufficient experience and confidence had been gained for small scale commercial plantings to be made.

Vineyard planting and production remained modest until the middle of the 1990s when the industry began to expand rapidly. In 1996 there were just 11 wineries in the Central Otago region, according to New Zealand Winegrowers, accounting for just 4.6% of the national total. By 2004 this had risen to 75 wineries and 16.2%.
Central Otago is famous for its range of delicious Pinot Noir, the grapes thrive in the rocky soils and extremes in climate.

If you would like to take a wine tour, please ask, the staff at Central Ridge can advise you.

Information taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

 
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