October 24, 2010
“Misha’s Vineyard to take on wine world”
WHEN IT specialists Misha and Andy Wilkinson moved to establish a super-premium vineyard in the rapidly emerging Central Otago region, they cleverly set their sights on one of New Zealand’s top-flight winemakers, Oliver (Olly) Masters.
Masters, who boasts a decade-long, five-star pedigree as a winemaking sharpshooter at Martinborough’s award-winning Ata Rangi winery, initially showed little enthusiasm in making the move to the newly planted Misha’s Vineyard, in Central Otago’s Bendigo sub-region. But the Wilkinsons eventually persuaded him to at least make the journey to Central Otago to understand their passion to produce, principally, world-class pinot noirs. Throw in a couple of white back-ups – riesling, pinot gris and gew adirztraminer – and the picture was complete. After walking over the picturesque vineyard, part of the famous high-country Bendigo Station sheep property overlooking spectacular Lake Dunstan, Masters accepted the challenge.
Two years on, Misha’s Vineyard is set to take the wine world by storm, if its 2008 pinot noirs – Impromptu ($35), Misha’s The High Note ($50) and Verismo ($60) – are pointers to what Masters has in store.
Not forgetting the captivating appeal of the 2009 Lyric Riesling, 2009 Dress Circle Pinot Gris and 2009 The Gallery Gew adirztraminer (all $27).
The labels reflect Misha Wilkinson’s long association with theatre, initially as a childhood ballerina, and the operatic career of her mother, Gloria McDonall. And it’s no coincidence that the Masters-orchestrated line-up is absolutely on song.
The pinots are the wines driving Misha’s Vineyards’ charge – and for good reason.
The Central Otago region produces some of the New World’s finest pinot noirs. They consistently win approval when compared to those rolling out of Martinborough and Marlborough, New Zealand’s other prime pinot noir sites.
Their appeal lies in the power of their fruit, structure, elegance and style.
As the vines mature, their standing will grow.