The Waitaki (Maori: Wai; water or tears, -taki; of Aoraki -Mount Cook) is a substantial central South Island valley formed by a braided river draining the eastern side of the Central South Island's main divide. This large area encompasses Mount Cook and the Mackenzie Country including its lakes. The Waitaki River provides some 65% of New Zealand's hydro-electricity storage through a series of dams and canals. The river forms the old provincial boundary between North Otago and Canterbury.
Ostler's vineyards are situated in North Otago on the south side of the river.
The Waitaki holds a small population of resourceful, independent families who grow fine produce in quantity and quality out of proportion to their low numbers.
An ancient geological faulting process which occurred in the Valley created our unique 'Clos Ostler' vineyard site. A 38 million year old seabed was raised into a north facing limestone slope overlooking the braided Waitaki River.
The original site of Ostler Vineyards' vines, 'Clos Ostler' on Racecourse Road, was the
raisin d'etre for the venture. Described by winemaker Jeff Sinnott as having "perhaps one of the most viticulturally significant soils in New Zealand", the site produces wines which elegantly express its terroir. As such, they are unique - different even from those of neighbouring wine regions. A combination of the valley's climate, superimposed on the vineyard's aspect, soils and limestone substrata ensures unusual levels of complexity within the fruit flavours.
The attention of vineyard staff to accurate viticulture provides the human element essential to achieve the balance for this process. The word fastidious comes to mind. In a climate close to the margins for winegrowing the requirement for achieving greatness is absolute attention to detail in the vineyard.
In addition to our estate-grown wines from 'Clos Ostler', Ostler produces wines from fruit grown by selected growers within the Waitaki Valley. The source of our wines is always identified on their labels as designated vineyards, or as 'Waitaki Valley' generically if grapes are supplied from more than one vineyard to make the wine.
All Ostler wines are from 100% Waitaki sourced fruit. Unique, liquid geography!
Attention to viticultural detail by a small dedicated vineyard staff ensures the development of the best possible parcels of fruit to vinify under Jeff's equally dedicated and skilled winemaking team.
Wine Maker's Dream
Watch Jim Jerram, co-founder of Ostler Wine, give an insight as to why the Waitaki Valley in Otago, New Zealand is a wine maker's dream.