QUICK WINERY FACTS
- Owner: Grant Taylor
- Grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris Orange Wine, Riesling
- Date first planted: 1998
- Wine labels: Valli
- Winemaker: Grant Taylor & Jen Parr
- Viticulturist: Grant Taylor
Valli Wines are owned and produced by the world’s most decorated winemaker – yes, that’s right, the world’s. Grant Taylor has won the trophy for “Best Pinot Noir” at the London International Wine competition a staggering four times starting with the 1990 Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir which he produced for Alan Brady.
Grant’s legacy for producing world class wines stems over 40 years from Napa in California to Central Otago (although he is himself a Central Otago native). He has led so many firsts for the region – such as being the first to plant a true north-south facing vineyard in Gibbston, to planting extremely close planted vines and cropping fruit right back to produce very high quality grapes (the Gibbston Vineyard is planted at 4050 vines/ha and then cropped to produce only 1kg of grapes per fruit) – see our articles on viticulture processes to understand more about the impact of cropping and tight growing on grape quality.
There are four separate Valli Vineyards. Three are in Central Otago (Gibbston, Bannockburn and Bendigo) and one is in the new wine growing region of Waitaki near Waimate.
All the regions produce very distinctively different wines. The warmer Bannockburn wines have dark fruits and are more tannic, making them better for longer term storage, The Gibbston Valli wines have a refreshing acidity, while the wines produced in Bendigo on the famous Chinaman’s Terrace are heavy, dark and rich (Taylor refers to them as “big friendly beasts”). The new Waitaki Valley wines reflect the even cooler climate again and are highly perfumed and are a very mineral lighter style Burgundian wine. All of Valli’s wines can be sampled at the Kinross Cellar Door in Gibbston Valley which you will visit on your Altitude Tour.