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Nestled at the base of Pisa Range and behind a breathtaking stone façade you’ll find Amisfield. This organic vineyard and cellar door needs little introduction and is also home to the country’s top restaurant of the same name. George Mackersy is Amsifield’s Vineyard Operations Manager and thrives on the challenge of growing vines in such a dramatic region, where temperatures are extreme and no two days are ever the same. We picked George’s brain for a crash course on the best Central Otago wine (hint, it’s one of Amisfield’s – and we wholly agree), plus his favourite spots around Queenstown.
Hi George! Tell us what makes Amisfield unique amongst Central Otago wineries?
Amisfield’s uniqueness starts with the single estate philosophy, one site located under the majestic Pisa Range. Organically managed with the aim of creating wines that are a true expression of the site, wines representative of the varying soil and different microclimates, wines that showcase the hard work of our dedicated and passionate team.
This might be like choosing a favourite child, but what’s your top pick?
Amisfield Breakneck Pinot Noir 2021 is a personal favourite, a selection of hand-picked barrels that highlight the purity and intensity of our site. Whole bunch cluster fermentation delivers a delicious spice and savouriness to this wine.
That’s one of our favourites too. Talk us through the four wines featured in our Amisfield flight at Reds.
- Amisfield Pinot Noir Rose 2022: A classic Central Otago Rose: Electric pink, floral and pink berries on the nose. Crisp watermelon and crunchy fresh pomegranate to create a refreshing and dry finish – perfect for a long lunch in the sun.
- Amisfield Fumé Sauvignon Blanc 2020: A cult favourite – our Fumé Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in oak barrels, helping it become a complex and generous wine. Soft acidity, big weight and delicious flavours of toasty grilled fruits and black current lead on the nose.
- Amisfield Pinot Noir 2021: All the best things about Central Otago are displayed here. Beautiful dark fruits, Black Doris plum and spice is framed with savoury hints and fine tannins for a lingering finish.
- Amisfield Breakneck Pinot Noir 2021: Rich dark cherries, savoury and earthy. A true expression of our Pisa site on a cooler year, drinking beautifully now and perfect for hiding a case in the cellar for years to come.
As a proud local, tell us about some of your favourite spots in Queenstown?
Getting outside and enjoying the walks that are so close to town, Moke Lake is an absolute must, a hidden gem of incredible beauty. The perfect outdoor spot for a summer picnic with a glass of Amisfield Rosé! Equally dramatic in winter with snow-capped mountains and a glass of Breakneck Pinot Noir.
For those seeking remarkable dining experiences in Queenstown, Reds has a special place in my heart. The incredible view, combined with its unique and vibrant atmosphere, makes it a love-at-first-sight kind of place.
Another gem is Arrowtown, with its charming historic main street. The rich history and character are evident in every step, and a leisurely stroll along the river track below the township offers a glimpse into the early gold mining settlements.
Schedule a stop in at Amisfield on your next trip, or visit Amisfield.co.nz.
To discover more wonderful wines of Central Otago, head to Reds bar for Wine Tasting Central, a rotating curation of local flights.
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