Ostler Vineyard – North Otago

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Like many other stories, this one begins with a name. Nestled amongst the rolling fields of North Otago is a valley. This valley is called the Waitaki Valley – but that’s not the name we’re beginning with.

Caroline is where we’re starting. Caroline was a friend, someone who shared countless evenings laughing and conversing, looking out over the rolling fields that hid the reason for her namesake. Now, Caroline is a Pinot Noir. Her name has been forever preserved in a carefully curated drop, a wine that can carry her name through years of harvesting and vintage. You’ll find Caroline aging for different vintages at Ostler.

Ostler is a name that takes us all the way back to 1852. William Ostler was a Yorkshire man who emigrated to New Zealand where he eventually owned his own station – first in Twizel and then again overlooking Lake Tekapo.

Coincidence and chance led William Ostler’s great-grandson to this beautiful pocket of New Zealand. Jim Jerram, along with his brother-in-law Jeff Sinnott, went scouring limestone country for suitable grape-growing land.

The north-facing limestone slope that they stumbled across led to the first Pinot Noir vines planted in 2002. This climate is ideal for growing wine grapes that suit a cooler climate.

Two years on, and more Pinot Noir vines were planted, along with Pinot Gris grapes. Fourteen years on, and Ostler has attracted accolades and international recognition for their unique range of wines. Jeff Sinnott, a sommelier who trained in New Zealand, soon developed a taste for Pinot Noir. After working closely with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to achieve astounding results, he chose to focus his efforts on Ostler and his newfound passion for Pinot Noir.

Jim Jerram honed in on his fierce appreciation for wine when he met Jeff Sinnott – and the two of them haven’t looked back since. Jim and his wife Anne live in the Waitaki valley where they proudly represent the first of the region’s local wine producers.

All wines that are produced by Ostler are made from 100% Waitaki sourced fruit. Every drop you drink has traveled from this precious land with its rich history into a bottle with a face, a name, and a story.

There’s a big chance that you haven’t heard of the Waitaki Valley. If you had, you would know one thing about it – it’s a great part of the world to grow local produce. The Waitaki valley can be found in the central South Island of New Zealand, where a braided river drains the eastern side of the South Island and its main divide.

The Waitaki Valley is home to a small population. This community is tight-knit and has one purpose that they all share – to grow high quality produce, both in quality and quantity. Their solidarity with the land allows for plentiful growth, leading to award-winning products that have been recognized the world over.

A 2016 vintage of Caroline’s Pinot Noir will come to you with a bright purple color. Note of cranberry and dark cherry can be detected with the first inhale. Below this is an earthiness, paired with a more exotic spice.

Drink in the View at Ostler

Cinnamon, anise and black pepper appear as you taste it – all flavors which are typical of a Waitaki valley wine. The tannins are powdery, and the acid is crunchy, creating a tension between the two that reflects warm alcohol. Jim believes that Caroline’s 2016 Pinot Noir is the finest Pinot Noir that Ostler has produced.

Audrey’s 2015 Pinot Gris combines notes of baking spice, flint, and nectarine. Old wine barrels give this Pinot Gris a more complex aromatic as a result of yeast fermentation present. The limestone slope is responsible for the distinct chalkiness found in this full-bodied, dry wine. Ostler vineyard also produces a Riesling, a Gewürztraminer and a Rose.

Everyone has a story to tell. Ostler vineyard is more than just a place to plant grapes – it’s the keeper of a precious history that’s stood the test of time. This story has found its forever home in the exquisite produce that these grapes bear. Ostler wine is sold all over the world, but there’s only one place it can be sourced – the Waitaki Valley in North Otago.

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