Quartz Reef Wines is celebrating 21 years of pioneering history since the first vines were planted at Bendigo, Central Otago.
To salute this important milestone for our Central Otago winegrowing region, Quartz Reef will be hosting a series of tastings and luncheons across New Zealand in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown during October 2019.
To visually represent this achievement, a specially designed image has been created and gifted to Quartz Reef Wines by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in support and recognition of our long standing partnership. This imagery will be incorporated across all elements of the celebration.
We will release a commemorative twinpack which will include 2 exceptional and limited wines. One bottle of Méthode Traditionnelle Sparkling Vintage 2010 and one bottle of Quartz Reef OTTO Pinot Noir 2017 RRP: $250. This will be available directly from the winery and at specialist wine retailers around NZ. In addition to the commemorative twinpack we are also presenting our Méthode Traditionnelle NV Brut in celebratory livery with specially marked foils and a beautiful giftbox. And for a lucky consumer, there will be a chance to win a weekend in Queenstown to celebrate with us.
In 1991, Austrian born Rudi Bauer first sited a gentle north facing slope, albeit barren rabbit-infested land which he thought might be a good site for a vineyard. This land was located on Bendigo Station, a 12,000HA sheep farm producing merino wool and operated by John and Heather Perriam.
John Perriam recalls that when Rudi knocked on his door in 1992 the plague of rabbits was making the station a liability and Rudi’s proposal as an opportunity as he had the land and Rudi had the skill.
By 1996, Rudi’s dream of planting on Bendigo Station became a reality when agreement was reached and Bendigo Estate Partnership was set up. The first 15HA of mainly Pinot Noir was planted in 1998. Fast forward 21 years and Bendigo is a well-established and thriving sub region with continued growth of numerous new plantings evident. And the good news is that this premium wine growing region is within an hour’s drive of Queenstown.
Rudi Bauer learned viticulture and winemaking in Austria and Germany. He came to New Zealand in 1985 to work at Mission Bay as an assistant winemaker. He was Rippon Vineyard's trophy-winning viticulturist and winemaker from 1989 to 1992 before going to Canterbury. He returned to Central Otago in 1997 and planted Quartz Reef's first vines at Bendigo in 1998.
Awards include the 1991 Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand (RAS) Easter Wine Show Champion Winemaker of the Year and the 2010 RAS Winemaker of the Year and in 2019, The Gourmet Traveller Wine's ''New Zealand Winemaker of the Year awards 2019'' Leadership award.
''The key for me is wine, a media for communication and that is what drives me. It is good to have something that comes from a beautiful place [Central Otago] and has the ability to be shared with others.
''Wine is part of Central Otago's heritage.''
Mr Bauer is the general manager and a shareholder of Quartz Reef Wines, alongside Trevor Scott and John Perriam.
Most recently Bob Campbell had some comments: “Quartz Reef makes Central Otago’s, and probably the country’s, best Méthode sparkling wines, which have steadily become more refined and sophisticated since production began around 1998”.
Along with our Méthode Traditionnelle sparkling wines including Vintage Blanc de Blancs, Rose and Brut, Quartz Reef is also recognised for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. More recently a very small quantity of Gruner Veltliner has been released.