About 90 minutes north of Wellington in the North Island
is New Zealand's newest wine region and only west coast vineyard - Ōhau (pronounced 'Or-hoe').
Here, pioneers Ōhau Wines
is producing sustainably-certified award-winning wines
with intense fruit flavours.
Contrary to the usual perception that NZ whites are mainly to be drunk young, Ōhau's wines are standing the test of time in vertical tastings.
The 2014 vintage is still tasting fresh and aromatic, and is to be tasted to really appreciate how long-lasting it is compared to Marlborough Sauvignons especially.
The Ōhau river terrace gravel soils influence the wines and are similar to some of the better sites in Marlborough, while Ōhau has a unique microclimate similar to the Nelson region.
As the only commercial west coast vineyard in New Zealand, Ōhau Wines benefits from the cool west coast temperatures to produce highly aromatic wines.
Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc are the two signature varieties.
Wines are marketed under the Ōhau Gravels and Woven Stone labels.
Since the inaugural vintage in 2009 the wines have been made by Jane Cooper, who has established a reputation as one of the leading female winemakers in New Zealand.
Wine-making has taken Jane to Chile, the Hunter Valley and to Italy; and in NZ to Nelson and at Matahiwi Estate in the Wairarapa.
Jane is very excited about Ōhau as a new wine-growing region and is very pleased with the success of the wines she has made from this area.
Read more about the Ohau Wines vineyard here