Quick winery facts:
- Altitude (meters above sea level): 300 – 350
- Grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer
- Date first planted: 1994
- Wine labels: Waitiri Creek Pinot Gris, Waitiri Creek Chardonnay, Waitiri Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Waitiri Creek Riesling, Waitiri Creek Harriet Rose, Waitiri Creek Pinot Noir and Drummer Pinot Noir
- Winemaker: made under contract by Matt Connell at Olssens
- Viticulturist: Jason Thomson
About Waiteri Creek Wines
Waiteri Creek was the first vineyard to be planted on the northern side of State Highway 6 which runs right through Gibbston. It was first planted with Chardonnay in 1994 on an area known as the Shanagolden Block by Alistair Ward and Paula Ramage. 2 years later the Old Matagouri Block was added to the vineyard with Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer and then the vineyard was later expanded again into Bannockburn with the purchase of additional Central Otago fruit. The Waitiri Creek Wines portfolio now includes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
The lower altitude (300 – 350 meters above sea level) and northerly aspect of the Gibbston vineyards means that Waitiri Creek is often among the first to ripen in the region.
On your visit to Waitiri Creek the two things that stand out is the amazing church and stunning handful of poplar trees. The trees date back to at least the early 1900s but the church is a relatively recent addition. Not originally on the property Paula and Alistair purchased the wonderful old Presbyterian Church that you will do your tasting in from the town of Wangaloa, near Kaitangata in 1998 – also the year of their first Chardonnay vintage. It was subsequently moved in one single piece in 2000.
At Waitiri Creek you will taste distinctive, characterful wines. The premium brand is Waitiri Creek but they also offer a price-pointed Drummer Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
The original Shanagolden Block was originally settled in 1867 by James Leslie, a Scot who had emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 17. He and his partner, Thomas Kinross, had followed the Dunstan Gold Rush. As well as chasing gold Leslie was the local butcher and bakes and Kinross established the Gibbston Store and Post Office on the site where you will visit Kinross on your Altitude wine tour.
Waitiri Creek is also now home to the Cargo Brewery Bedford tasting truck. Check out the range of locally brewed Cargo Brewery Craft Beers as you while away your time in the sun.