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In Central Otago, every day is a holiday. This landscape is so fantastic and the region is so strkingly beautiful and it's a bonus to grow grapes so well here.<br /><br />Rudi Bauer As a pioneer of Central Otago, Rudi Bauer understands and believes with a passion in the wonderful future for Central Otago as a fine wine growing region. With two decades of experience making first-class wine there, he sees himself at the beginning of the journey, one that will by necessity be carried on by generations after him.<br /><br />Raymond Chan Quartz Reef applies the proven winemaking talents of Austrian-born Rudi Bauer, who continues to enjoy & explore the Pinot Noir's many dimensions, and the convergence of the old and the new wine worlds. In Central Otago, every day is a holiday. This landscape is so fantastic and the region is so strkingly beautiful and it's a bonus to grow grapes so well here.<br /><br />Rudi Bauer As a pioneer of Central Otago, Rudi Bauer understands and believes with a passion in the wonderful future for Central Otago as a fine wine growing region. With two decades of experience making first-class wine there, he sees himself at the beginning of the journey, one that will by necessity be carried on by generations after him.<br /><br />Raymond Chan

In Central Otago, every day is a holiday. This landscape is so fantastic and the region is so strkingly beautiful and it\'s a bonus to grow grapes so well here.

Rudi Bauer

Vintage Update

Vintage 2019

The 2019 season at Quartz Reef started well with perfect spring conditions. Budburst arrived on September 22nd starting with our Chardonnay vines and followed by the Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Unfortunately in early October we were hit hard with a severe frost. The weather warmed up and was relatively mild throughout the remaining Spring with rainfall in late November/early December providing good levels of moisture. This meant our vineyard flourished whilst we recorded the lowest water usage in a season.

Bendigo Early Morning Frost

At the beginning of December another cold front hit during flowering affecting bunch size resulting in a low yielding crop. Warm and settled weather followed with veraison of our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris starting towards the end of January.  Due to the light crops and warm weather, especially nights, the fruit ripened quickly and we geared up in expectation of another early harvest.

During the growing season (budburst to veraision) the following preparations were applied in the vineyard: Cow horn manure (500) and cow horn - quartz silica (501) application. As well as stinging nettle, equisetum and valerian tea’s.

Biodynamic Preparations  Biodynamic Preparation Compost

And indeed we did start harvest slightly earlier this year and although we were ready with anticipation, our machinery was not! We had an absent press brain as it was being re-calibrated and our forklift also appeared to have been re-calibrated but with the wrong wiring as it would only turn left (somewhat reminiscent of a certain movie called Zoolander). With Kiwi and Austrian ingenuity we mastered the moment and harvest for Pinot Noir fruit for our sparkling wine base commenced on the 21st February followed by the Chardonnay. This continued into March with our last pick for the sparkling harvest on the 13th March.

Harvest of Pinot Tractor during Harvest

There was a break on the autumn equinox which allowed the team to make our cow horn manure 500 and oak bark 505 preparation’s and bury them until they are lifted on the spring equinox. When then moved into the picking our Pinot Noir on the 28th of March. Harvest for the majority of fruit used in our still wines (Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris) started on the 1st of April – (not a joke)!

Chardonnay going in the Press  Working the Press

Due to the different flowering patterns and variation across the vineyard this year we had to be adaptive in our picking decisions. Constant monitoring of grape ripeness was required to identify the perfect picking window and the fruit was harvested in small sections from throughout the vineyard.

We wrapped up our 2019 harvest on the 8th April with the picking of our precious Gruner Veltliner (with assistance from our capital friends Olly of Vintners and Davey from Ortego Fish Shack).

Gruner Veltliner Harvest

In the winery we experienced very concentrated flavours and ripe tannins due to smaller berry size. We had to be very aware to not over extract our Pinot Noir in order to express the nature of our vineyard together with providing finesse and weight in the most balanced manner. The last pressing of Pinot Noir into barrel was completed with overall excellent colour, enticing ripe tannins and dark fruit with low malics.

Autumn in the vineyard

Finally in May, the last of the nets were removed and the sheep brought in to graze. Back at the winery our Pinot Gris and Gruner Veltliner is quietly fermenting, our vintage clean-up has been completed and our last ciaos and goodbyes said to this year’s interns.

Vintage Dinner

The 2019 vintage impression is extremely good quality, clean fruit and we look forward to sharing these wines with you.