Awesome lineup of Campari substitutes last post by Michael Markarian, Jeremy Eubanks and Eitan Spivak. I especially appreciate the Gran Classico suggestion - I freaking love that stuff. So tasty!
This week: Key geographical features of Central Otago. What shapes the landscape?
Check out Bryce Wiatrak's post on Otago for a a great breakdown of what's going on there currently!
In simple terms, South Island, inland valley, mountainous terrain and large lakes and rivers along with being obviously an ocean influenced climate.
Ocean Influenced, yes but the southern alps creates NZ's only true continental climate by providing a rain shadow.
It’s also the world’s southernmost wine region, and New Zealand’s highest in altitude. Vines are planted on northern hillside exposures to take advantage of the sun.
A little more detail to some of mountains, lakes and rivers:
Lake Wanaka is probably the most talked about, giving name to the subzone. Lake Hayes is the other large lake of mention.
Of the mountains, the Crown Range and The Remarkables (a popular ski destination) are the two dominant forces creating altitude (and causing the need for terracing in the lower areas where grapes are planted).
The rivers are too numerous to know them all, as is often the case with younger mountains. Waitaki is the largest among them. Standout Felton Road sits near the Kawarau River. Others of significance are the Clutha and Kewarau Rivers.
It's worth noting that the Gibbston subregion runs along the kuwaru gorge, and is the coolest/most marginal climate in Central, providing for lighter, more aromatically driven wines with a lot more vintage variation.
Not a geographic feature, but interesting nonetheless.
Most of Central, and the Cromwell basin in particular, is covered in aromatic plants, especially wild thyme, lavender, and some rosemary. For whatever reason, much of the Pinot Noir grown there has a strong, resiny/herbal finish very reminiscent of that wild thyme.