Great wines... and other stories

New Central Otago wine room to flatter landscape


Artist’s impression of Te Kano Estate’s new cellar door on Felton Road, Central Otago… forecast to open in September 2019

Construction is underway on Te Kano Estate’s new tasting room in Central Otago.

The new tasting room will be cantilevered over the Kauwerau River, giving a vast view across the mountains and vineyards on Felton Road in Bannockburn. The facility will double as offices and entertaining spaces for the wine brand.  Accommodation and a restaurant are also planned, says Te Kano Estate owner Rhonda Lloyd, who employed Mason and Wales architects from Dunedin  to design the building to flatter the landscape and complement its nearby vineyards.

Lloyd says she is committed to developing the Central Otago wine story through this new space and also via a kowhai regeneration project that will see the native tree bloom in the region.

Te Kano winemaker Dave Sutton says the new tasting room will give people a glimpse of what’s to come for the wine company.

Te Kano has 42 hectares of vines in Central Otago, including 32 hectares planted at Northburn and five hectares on Felton Road, producing primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Construction of the Felton Road site is expected to finish in mid-June and open in  September 2019.

A Central Otago Pinot week

A season to look forward to… spring grapes after bud burst

Lovely new Pinot Noir from a cool weather, small volume vintage in the world’s southernmost wine region – Central Otago. Here’s my tasting note on the latest Pinot from Misha’s Vineyard…


2017 Misha’s Vineyard Cantata Pinot Noir $30


A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment – with more complexity than a simple song… a fitting name for this silky smooth, medium bodied Pinot Noir from Misha’s Vineyard, which is dry, medium bodied, spicy flavoured with cherry notes and a lingering finish.

This is the third vintage of Cantata Pinot Noir. It was first made in 2015 as a wine to serve by the glass at bars and restaurants and is now also available online to the public (that’s us) at

It’s made from grapes grown on Misha and Andy Wilkinson’s Bendigo vineyard, one of the warmest areas of Central Otago and one of the first in the entire region to harvest grapes each year. This Bendigo vineyard benefits from altitude, ranging from 210 to 350 metres above sea level. The wine is made from a blend of Pinot Noir clones, including clone 6, the Abel clone, UCD5, 777, 114, 667 and clone 4; all contributing different aspects of flavour and structure to the wine. Cantata is a barrel selection of Pinot Noirs made from Misha’s Vineyard and while it’s not as structured as the brand’s top Pinot Noir (The High Note), Cantata has a silkyness taht over delivers for this price. It drinks well now and will also age well for approximately seven to eight years in cool dark cellaring conditions.

Production is capped at 700 to 800 cases of this wine, so it’s not high volume and is currently sold only in New Zealand.

A sobering week

It seems inappropriate to raise a glass to anything other than a more harmonious future after such a sobering, humbling and tragic week for many New Zealanders. It’s been refreshing to hear so many people focus over the past seven days on things that bring us together instead of things that tear us apart, on our likenesses instead of our differences and on love instead of hate.
So, without further ado, the wIne of the week returns next week.
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