Red wine lovers will be familiar with serious wine producers such as Akarua, Felton Road and Mora. However, the tip of a far longer iceberg of beautiful Pinot Noirs is all in the Bannockburn region, one of the driest, windiest and most historically significant sub-regions in Central Otago, where 80 per cent of the land is used for wine-producing.
Founded as a centre of gold mining in the 1800s, Bannockburn's historical remnants can still be seen with stone buildings and their remains dotting the arid landscape here. The old Bannockburn Hotel remains and has had a makeover worthy of visiting for great wine and food, not to mention the roaring fire - it’s an ideal place to escape to in the depth of winter for a relaxing weekend with friends.
MORA PINOT NOIR BANNOCKBURN, $50
Talk about an impressive 2022 wine. In Latin, “mora” means to linger or pause, which is exactly the effect this Pinot Noir will have on your palette. Mora Wines is a family affair; it’s the latest venture for the Skeggs, who are famous for their multi-award-winning wine brand Akarua (now owned by Edmond de Rothschild Heritage). They also produce standout RUA wines, including an impressive Pinot Noir. This Mora has ripe plum aromas that follow with bold, full-body freshness. The depths of flavour in this wine are spectacular. Rich and tasty, complex, spicy, completely dry, and every sip lingers - I am a big fan.
Graze with: Grilled zucchini with sourdough or a selection of quality olives
Dine with: grilled wild venison with green winter salad leaves
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