The Schist Hills vineyard is located on a plateau above Alexandra town ship within the Alexandra Basin, Central Otago. The vineyard enjoys 360 degree views, but the highlight has to be the Dunstan Mountains with the famous Leaning Rock that has been used for centuries as a guiding landmark.
Planted in 2003 the vineyard has grown award winning Pinot Noir wines since 2006. Managed by Christine Rasmussen and her team, the vines are lovingly tended to ensure quality grapes and therefore wines are grown. The soils at Schist Hills are known as Waikerikeri stony sands, consisting of quartz gravels and schist sands, they are ideal for growing premium Pinot Noir grapes that produces wines with a full and well rounded palate.
Central Otago is well known for producing some of the world's best Pinot Noir wines, now Alexandra Basin is achieving accolades and awards for producing some of the best wines of the region.
Alexandra, which is known as the heart of Central Otago, is actually the most southerly sub region within Central Otago.
Alexandra regularly records New Zealand’s hottest summer temperatures while still having cool nights. These extremes in temperature produce grapes with intense flavours and a vibrancy leading to excellent Pinot Noir and aromatic wines. Growing grapes this far south can be a challenge, however the investment in extensive frost fighting ensures the grapes can be matured to optimum quality before harvesting.
The arid landscape is dominated by spectacular schist outcrops contrasted by the waters of the Clutha and Manuherikia rivers that converge at the township.
You can find out more about Alexandra by visiting the Alexandra Website or for more on Central Otago visit Central Otago – a world of difference
"Fairly new to the wine market this producer is aiming high in terms of quality. The Schist Hills 09 Pinot Noir is floral and pretty on the nose with ripe cherry and spiced oak suggestions.
On the palate the medium-plus concentration of fruit and texture gives this wine character and personality, but most importantly pinosity. A well-made and well-balanced wine - 4 stars."
Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier