In October 2022 Edmond de Rothschild Heritage purchased 34.5 hectares of established vineyards belonging to Akarua, a historic and pioneering vineyard in Central Otago; an important and much-longed-for addition to the Edmond de Rothschild Heritage range. Hand-selected by Anne Escalle’s team for its unique terroir and rare balanced conditions suited to producing very fine pinot noirs.

Aka (vine) – Rua (two)

In Māori, the name ‘Akarua’ means two grape varieties. Pinot noir and Chardonnay, the two varietals first planted on the estate in 1996 by Sir Clifford Skeggs. They now represent 78.5 % and 2% of the parcels respectively, and a small amount of pinot gris and riesling completes the offering. Drawing on the know-how of local teams and on its own international winemaking expertise, Edmond de Rothschild Heritage’s ambition is to optimise Akarua’s outstanding potential in order to produce the country’s finest pinot noir from a single estate, to create elegant wines and exceptional cuvées and to become the New Zealand benchmark in both domestic and international markets.

Central Otago has rapidly gained international market and media credibility for producing exceptional pinot noir. Pioneers in the 1980s such as Alan Brady at Gibbston, Vernon and Sue Burgess at Alexandra and Rolf and Lois Mills in Wanaka, began producing serious wines under the most challenging circumstances, activating a surge of enthusiasm and investment in the industry over the next two decades and beyond.

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Akarua Pinot Noir 2022

WINEMAKING Carefully hand harvested grapes were batch fermented.  Mostly destemmed with two batches with a small portion of whole cluster component. Fermented on skins for around three weeks. The resulting wine was gently pressed to French oak barrels for maturation. AGEING In French barrels, including 20% new barrels, medium-plus toast, from the Alliers and the Vosges forests. AGEING DURATION 9 months
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Akarua The Siren Pinot Noir 2021

“The Siren”, Akarua’s super premium cuvee, leaves in its wake a mesmerising and ambitious Pinot Noir. It is composed of the finest parcels from Cairnmuir Road in Bannockburn, where grapevines flourish beautifully in a very windy, very hot and very dry environment. The odyssey of a full-bodied and complex wine, both floral and spicy with enchanting black-berry aromas. Akarua The Siren complex, sophisticated and powerful flavours make it a perfect match with roast lamb, mushroom based dishes as well as vegetable dishes with a little sweetness and a touch of acidity. WINEMAKING Carefully hand harvested grapes were destemmed then fermented on skins for around three weeks. The resulting wine was gently pressed to French oak barrels for maturation. AGEING In French oak barrels with 40% of new. One year of bottle age before release. AGEING DURATION 18 months Varietal: Pinot Noir
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