“Dress Circle” – Pinot Gris 2018


With expressive aromas of white florals, musk, red apples and walnuts, this dry style Pinot Gris has an elegant palate of baked quince with a hint of citrus freshness and a long gentle finish.

This is consistently the highest rated Pinot Gris in New Zealand according to Bob Campbell MW who rated this vintage 95 points & 5 stars.

The Dress Circle is the premium seating in the theatre and matches the location of our Pinot Gris. Situated on our middle terrace overlooking the spectacular vista of lake and mountains, it is indeed the ‘dress circle’ of the vineyard.

2016 Vintage

“With classic Pinot Gris aromatics of white pear, apple blossom, orange zest and cinnamon, the gentle dry palate has a mineral backbone finishing with a note of honeysuckle.” Olly Masters (Winemaker)

Vintage Notes

The 2018 vintage was one of the hottest on record with some extraordinary weather patterns resulting in a very compressed season. Early in the season, there were searing temperatures for days on end along with record low rainfall. The winds finally came later in the season and then heavy rains hit in early to mid-February. The challenges of the season were in trying to manage rapid canopy growth and keep on top of the constant threat of mildew and botrytis. In spite of the issues, we ended up with a very healthy vineyard and an overall crop level that was lower than normal due to lower average bunch weights and smaller berries. This has resulted in very good fruit concentration and very expressive wines. Our Growing Degree Days (GDDs) were 1356 and fruit for this wine was hand-picked at a yield of 2.7-3.4 tonnes per hectare.

Food Match

This is an ‘anytime’ white wine that can be enjoyed alone or matched with a wide variety of food including many Asian style stir-fries and dishes that are a little spicy. It’s also particularly good with shellfish, salmon, chicken, pork, and creamy-sauce pasta.


Region Central Otago, New Zealand Vineyard Estate-grown, single vineyard
Sub-Region Bendigo – Single Vineyard Variety/ Clones GM 2.15 (70%) Barrie (30%)
Planting 2005, Altitude: 298 – 313m Harvested 3 & 4 April 2018
Harvest Analysis Brix: 23.8 / pH: 3.44 / TA: 5.6 g/l Bottled 7 August 2018 (Stelvin closure)
Wine Analysis Alc:14% / pH: 3.58 / TA: 5.5 g/l Cellaring 1 – 6+ years
Residual Sugar 6.9 g/l Style Off-Dry


The fruit was gently crushed as whole bunches to enhance varietal extraction but ensure low phenolic levels. Interestingly, despite the warm season, phenolics appear less apparent than normal. This will enhance the typical palate gentleness this variety can exhibit. The free run portion was inoculated and cool-fermented (16-17°C) in tank to retain varietal character. The later press portion (~22%) was fermented at warmer temperatures (20°C) in older French oak barrels with indigenous yeast to add more yeast complexity and build mid palate texture into the wine.