In 2005, legendary wine making couple Dan and Sarah Kate (SK) Dineen stepped away from their high-profile roles in the Hunter Valley to begin a quest to make the perfect pinot noir.

Determined to source grapes where they naturally grow best, they joined forces with SK’s parents (the owners of Mount Maude vineyard in the Maungawera Valley, just outside Wanaka), to create wines from the top wine-growing regions in New Zealand. Bonus: they got to set up their custom-built winery in paradise – literally (Wanaka was the location for Paradise in the movie A Wrinkle in Time).

The couple are dedicated to hands-on minimal intervention wine making (SK is no stranger to a plunging stick) and produce award-winning pinots of beautiful complexity, ripe fruit and supple tannins. We’re big fans of their regional blend pinot (Maude Pinot Noir, which is a great example of all that’s great about Central pinot.

Hot tip: we’re also massive fans of the Maude riesling and chardonnay.

What style do you think characterises Central Otago pinot?

A region which truly reflects the dramatic landscape in which our pinot noir is grown. Our pinots have depth and clarity, are intense, powerful expressions of place.

Tell us three things we need to know about your region.

1. Arguably the most beautiful wine region in the World
2. Definitely the best ski slopes in New Zealand
3. Mecca for adrenalin junkies

What’s the one thing we must do in your region?

Wildwire in Wanaka – NZ’s equivalent to the Italian via Ferrata – or Iron Staircase

When no one is watching, you drink…

Old Fashions.

Your pinots are best for…

Occasions where they’ll be appreciated.

Your pinots are best paired with…

Good people.

If not you, who else should people try?

Rippon Vineyard

What song should we listen to when driving away and onto the next one?

What song should we listen to when driving to the winery?

The one song that makes you dance when the beat drops…

Some electronic jazz by Parov Stelar – like this

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