Roll on 1 September… release date for this beauty – Quartz Reef Blanc de Blancs 2013

Rudi Bauer is a force to be reckoned with.

He was the first professional winemaker in Central Otago’s modern wine industry. He was the first to make a bottle fermented, traditional method (aka champagne styled) sparkling wine from the region. He is a perfectionist, having studied grape growing (viticulture) and winemaking for nine years in his homeland, Austria, before working vintages around the world and finally winging his way to New Zealand in 1985.

He was in Wellington today for a whirlwind tasting of his new wines, the pinnacle being his first Blanc de Blancs bubbly from the 2013 New Zealand vintage.

Like all Quartz Reef wines, this bubbly is biodynamically certified and made with grapes 100% grown on his own estate vineyard in Bendigo – one of Central Otago’s warmest corners. He owns 30 hectares of land there and has had Chardonnay for quite some time, but this is the first wine made from it. And what a wine. 

Wine of the week

2013 Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle Blanc de Blancs RRP $70

All the Chardonnay grapes in this wine were grown on Quartz Reef’s estate vineyard in Bendigo and all from the outstanding 2013 vintage – one of, if not the best year for grapes in the South Island (and many parts of the north) in the past few decades. This wine is all about Central Otago’s climate, which means high but balanced acidity – and no malolactic fermentation – give this wine its beautiful vibrancy and feeling of energy… the fresh acidity provides balance to the delicious honey, savoury, fresh flavours, which finish long and tasty.

  • Today I described Rudi on a Facebook post as a dab hand at winemaking in the deep south, only to be corrected by one of his many fans – “not a dab hand – a towering giant”. And so he is, too.