Amisfield Vineyards is a producer of fine wine from the Lowburn area of New Zealand's Central Otago region. The region is renowned for producing world class Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines. Amisfield Farm was a high country sheep station located 7km north of lowburn on the shores of Lake Dunstan. Nestled between Amisfield and Parkburn streams planting commenced in 1999 and now consists of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Each vineyard block is purposely grown as a component contributing layers of complexity to the overall blend.
Amisfield's overriding winemaking philosophy revolves around the fact that quality wine is grown not made. Clean ripe fruit is hand picked and destemmed into open topped fermenters. After a week or so pre-ferment soaking of wild yeasts in the winery begin fermentation. Once dry, the skins are gently pressed and run off to tight grained French Oak barrels and matured in underground cellars.
The style is classic Central Otago Pinot, dark cherry and spice aromas lead to a richly fruited palate with fine silky tannins. Drinking well on release and can be cellarred for up to 5 years from vintage.
Amisfield was established in 1988 and is a Central Otago based specialist producer of pinot noir and aromatic white wines sourced from fruit grown on their Estate vineyard beneath the Pisa Mountain range in the Cromwell Basin. This privately owned company's 200ha property, once a prominent high country merino station, is one of the largest single vineyard estates in the Central Otago region. Over 80ha is currently planted with the majority of the vines being over ten years old.
Amisfield wines reflect the company's grape growing and winemaking philosophy underlining faithful expression of site, minimal winemaking intervention and ultimate fruit purity. Stringent yield management practices deliver concentrated fruit flavor, consistency and complexity derived from the range of soils found on the vineyard.
A state-of-the-art purpose built winery is the focal point of the vineyard and produces 25,000 -30,000 cases of wine annually. Pinot noir accounts for over 60% of the production with the balance made up of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Wines are showcased at Amisfield's Lake Hayes Bistro and Cellar Door where more than 60,000 New Zealand and international guests sample the range of vintages every year.
Amisfield is an accredited and committed member of the New Zealand Winegrowers’ Sustainable winegrowing program centering on a quality management system and environmental sustainability.
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The southernmost vineyards of the world lie here in Central Otago. Unlike most other New Zealand appellations, Central Otago is inland - nestled right in the middle of the southern island. Its lack of proximity to water creates weather more continental than maritime, leading to big temperature shifts – hot during the day, significantly cooler at night.
The region's continental climate, paired with the variety of soils found in the area, make Central Otago perfect for growing the finicky Pinot Noir grape. Covering almost 80% of the area planted with vines, Pinot Noir is the dominant grape variety, and the wine it creates from the region is receiving rave reviews for its balanced purity and intensity. Some Chardonnay is grown here, but Pinot is king.
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.