Felton Road was one of Central Otago's pioneering vineyards when they were one of the first to plant grapes in Bannockburn in 1991. At this stage the oldest commercial vines in Central Otago were 10 years old, and up until then Bannockburn had been overlooked. In hindsight, this seems surprising given Bannockburn's ideal climate and topography for grape growing, Bannockburn land is now some of the most sought after vineyard land in Central Otago.
Felton Road's first commercial wines were released in 1997, and both the 1997 single block Pinot Noir, 'Block 3' and the 1998 Estate Pinot Noir received high critical acclaim by major US wine critic, Robert Parker. Felton Road has since gone from strength to strength. When Englishman Nigel Greening purchased the vineyard in 2001, he decided to steer the vineyard on a very hands-on, holistic path, embracing organic and biodynamic methodologies in the vineyard and the winery.
One of many strengths at Felton Road is the spirit of the people and longevity of the team. Even now, 20 years on, Nigel Greening is still closely involved, and an inspiration to his team, Gareth King continues to meticulously manage the vineyards, and Blair Walter, as head wine maker, oversees the winemaking and management of Felton Road.
Felton Road is deservedly one of New Zealand's cult vineyards, continuing to improve year on year producing wines of elegance and purity.
Felton Road’s focused approach is kept simpler by only growing 3 varieties, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Rieslings are sublime and come in 3 styles from precise and dry to a divine German Spätlese style medium Riesling, Chardonnays lightly oaked and refined, and the Pinot Noirs oozes elegance and power. Three iconic wines to try are the Block 3 Pinot Noir, Bannockburn Riesling and Block 2 Chardonnay.
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