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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.<br /><br />Rudi Bauer 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.

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.

Raymond Chan

Winemaker

Rudi with Bubbles on the Mountain

Quartz Reef winemaker and two-time recipient of New Zealand Winemaker of the Year, Rudi Bauer, says that achieving biodynamic certification is a very special milestone that reflects outstanding commitment from the Quartz Reef team.

“Our conversion to biodynamic viticulture is really just the beginning of a wonderful journey to further understand our beautiful vineyard being reflected in the most sincere way.  We see biodynamics as the philosophy that will allow this to happen more and more.”

The concept of biodynamics was introduced to the world in 1924 by Austrian philosopher and educator, Rudolf Steiner. The development of industrial farming techniques had resulted in declining land fertility and livestock health.  To revive farm fertility Steiner advocated use of biodynamic preparations and composting to increase microbial life, structure and nutrient availability in the soil.Austrian-born Rudi Bauer is the winemaker at Quartz Reef winery in Central Otago.

Born in Salzburg, Rudi gained his degree in viticulture and winemaking in Austria and Germany before coming to New Zealand in 1985 on a 6 month working visa. Here he fell in love with the country, the wine and a “Kiwi girl” (not necessarily in that order of significance) and the net result has been the New Zealand wine industry’s gain!

He worked at Mission Vineyard in Hawkes Bay until 1989, doing vintages in his off-seasons in California and Oregon. The Oregon experience gave Rudi a taste for Pinot Noir, and he moved to Central Otago to make the region’s first gold and trophy pinot noir at Rippon Vineyard in 1991. He moved on to Canterbury, producing consistent medal-winners at Giesen for five years, before returning to Central Otago. It was here in 1996 at Bendigo that Rudi created Quartz Reef; specialising in Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Méthode Traditionnelle. In particular he enjoys and explores the Pinot Noir’s many dimensions, and the convergence of the old and the new.

Widely considered as a far-sighted pioneer of the Central Otago wine region and one of the most charismatic producers in the country, Rudi was awarded Winemaker of the Year in 1999 and again in 2010.  He was also honoured to be the first New Zealand winemaker nominated for the prestigious “Der Feinschmecker Winemaker of the Year” in 2010.

Rudi’s infectious enthusiasm for his craft, coupled with his wickedly dry Austrian/Kiwi sense of humour, guarantee that his Masterclass tastings are as entertaining as they are informative.  

Rudi with Pinot Glass

Rudi Bauer

Rudi was born in the district of Salzburg, Austria. Gaining degrees in viticulture and winemaking in Gumpoldskirchen (1975-79) and Krems (1980-82) in Austria and followed by winemaking business college in Bad Kreuznach (1983-84), Germany.

1985 Arrived in New Zealand – Mission Vineyard, Hawkes Bay as Assistant Winemaker

1986 Vintage at Simi winery, Sonoma County, California Sokol-Blosser winery, Oregon

1988 Vintage at Simi winery, as small lot winemaker

1992 - 1989 Viticulturist/winemaker at Rippon Vineyard, Lake Wanaka

1994 Vintage at Meo Camuzet, Vosne-Romanee, Burgundy

1996 Formed Quartz Reef

1997 - 1993 Winemaker at Giesen Wine Estate, Canterbury

1998 Planting of first vines in Bendigo

1999 Champion Winemaker of the Year - Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand Easter Wine Show

2000 Driving force, with Alan Brady, behind the first Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration

2004 International Pinot Noir Celebration Wellington 2004, Board member

2010 Der Feinschmecker Wine Awards “Winemaker of the Year” Nominee
(one of six in world and first ever in New Zealand)

2010 Royal Agricultural Society New Zealand Winemaker of the Year

2014 - 2002 Central Otago Pinot Noir Limited, Director

2014 - 2010 Central Otago Pinot Noir Limited, Chairman