Hello Baxter!

We still miss our beloved Rocky but we have been pleased to welcome Baxter to our home and cellar door.  At only three months old he is learning the ropes quickly and we are confident that he will fill Rocky’s ‘paws’ and welcome our cellar door customers with a friendly greeting.


He already loves to greet people but is still inclined to jump up sometimes and is very keen to lick – or should we say, ‘kiss’ them. We are sure that he will soon grow out of his ‘bad’ habits (with a bit of help from us) and be an impeccable greeter at Bannock Brae.

More Awards
We have received some more excellent reviews of our current wines.

Sam Kim (Wine Orbit) rated our Barrel Selection Pinot noir 2009 with 5 stars, our Goldfields Pinot noir 2012 with 5 stars and Marlene’s Grüner Veltliner with 4 1/2  stars.

AND our Cathy’s Rosé has been awarded 4 stars by Raymond Chan. For his full review, click here.

So all good here at Bannock Brae in the lead up to Christmas.
We hope to see many of our customers at the cellar door over the summer.
From 27 December we will be open every day,12 noon to 5pm, until the end of January.

More good reviews

Raymond Chan, well-known and respected NZ wine reviewer, has assessed three of our current wines, awarding our 2009 Barrel Selection Pinot noir 5-stars; our 2012 Goldfields Pinot noir 4-stars; and our 2013 Marlene’s Gruener Veltliner 3 stars!

Read the full reviews here.

Lower alcohol wines

This isn’t exactly ‘news’ but this article makes good reading.

Here at Bannock Brae we have no intention of compromising the quality of our wines by attempting to lower the alcohol level.  Please, if you think the alcohol level of our wines is too high for you – just drink less!

Meantime, we are currently enjoying a cold but wonderful winter here in Central Otago. It is great being outside in the sunshine with the secateurs!

Goodbye Rocky

Cellar door customers will no longer be welcomed by Rocky, our wonderful yellow Labrador.  Unfortunately we had to have Rocky euthanised on 1 July.  At only 8 years of age he had a problem with his rear-left leg which could not be fixed. In spite of our best efforts – and those of the local vets – we were left with no choice as he was in considerable pain.

He will be sorely missed by us, by friends and by customers.P1020517

Happy Easter to all our fans

Harvest is almost complete – we have picked the Pinot but are still waiting for the Gru-vee to ripen – and we are looking forward to a busy time at the cellar door over the Easter break.

We will be open for tastings on Saturday, Sunday and Monday so please call in if you are in Central.  There is plenty more to do around here over Easter with Warbirds over Wanaka, events at the Highland Motorsport Park and, of course, wine tasting!


Happy Christmas from Pinot country

We have been a bit quiet on the web-front lately but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy ensuring that the next vintage from Bannock Brae will be as good as the last – or even better.

We wish all our friends, customers and visitors to our web-site a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2014.

If you are in Central Otago during the holiday period, please call in and say ‘Hi’. Our cellar door will be open every day from 27 December until the end of January and we – and Rocky – do enjoy welcoming all our visitors and friends during that time.

More GOLD medals

Our wines are at it again – winning GOLD medals!

Our Barrel Selection Pinot noir 2009 won GOLD at the Spiegelau International Wine Competition in August and our Goldfields Pinot noir 2011 won GOLD at the NZ International Wine Show in September.

But a word about the Goldfields 2011.  It is sometimes depositing some tartrate crystals.  Do not be concerned about this!  These crystals are completely harmless, tasteless and odour free. We are not going to apologise – indeed we are quite proud of them!  They can occur at any time when producers of quality wine choose to avoid using modern techniques such as cold stabilisation, fining or fine filtration.  And that is exactly what we try to do.

The crystals are deposited on the base of the bottle and with careful pouring that is where they will stay! So don’t shake the bottle before pouring and don’t tip the bottle up to get out the last drop! But enjoy!

Goldfields Pinot noir 2011

Our recently-released 2011 Goldfields Pinot noir is receiving accolades already.

Winestate has awarded this wine 4 1/2 stars and had this to say:

Full-coloured Bannockburn red, scented and supple, with generous cherry, plum and dried herb flavours, oak complexity and a solid foundation of tannin.  Classic regional style, with fresh acidity and excellent density.  Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

And Neil Hodgson, Nelson Mail said:

From Central Otago, this wine continues the fine reputation it has earned in recent years. Previous vintages have been awarded multiple gold medals and Michael Cooper rated the 2010 vintage as his Best Buy Red Wine of the Year in his Buyer’s Guide to New Zealand Wines 2013. Deep, rich fruit aromas and delicious ripe fruit flavours are countered with powdery minerality and a savoury complexity. Overall, this is another five-star wine. 

We are delighted that this wine is receiving such wonderful reviews so soon after its release.  We look forward to more exciting reviews in the coming months.

Harvest is over!

There is always a sense of relief when the grapes are safely delivered to the winery.   The fruit looks great and we are confident of some wonderful wine.  Be patient, though.  It will be at least 18 months before it is available

Full bins of Pinot noir awaiting pick-up.