Felton Road is located in Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand, the southernmost wine growing region in the world. This region is synonymous with 'Winemaking on the edge'. The fact is that a cat and mouse game is regularly played with the frost. The fragmented vineyards nestle in small micro-climates on slopes surrounded by high mountains, many of which remain covered with snow peaks all year round.
Although Otago is located at 45 ° south latitude and winemaking can be considered risky here, warm days, cool nights and a long dry autumn in this micro climate combine perfectly for fine Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. The climate is also described as continental. This offers the advantage of little rain and many hours of sun. Felton Road's owner Nigel Greening and super winemaker Blair Walter are obsessed with the different vineyards with various terroirs. Special attention is also given to the different Pinot Noir cloons. Since the domain started in 1991, Felton Road wines have been an overwhelming success. The cello door on the sympathetic small domain is closed for more than half of the year due to 'sold out'. Together with Ata Rangi from Martinborough, Felton Road was awarded 'grand cru' status at the Pinot Noir Conference in Wellington in January 2010. What is special is that the title 'grand cru' was chosen by wine professionals. Great class, wines with a lot of sophistication!
After thorough soil and climate research in 1991, the British owner Nigel Greening selected three different soils, the Elms Vineyard with a total of 14 hectares, on the north-facing slopes (southern end of Felton Road in Bannockburn on poor soil). hemisphere!) for planting top vineyards with 55% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay and 15% riesling. Because slopes were chosen, there is little trouble with night frost. The whole is strongly reminiscent of the Burgundian Côte d'Or. A subdivision into 13 different blocks was made and it was determined as precisely as possible where the different grape varieties - and which clones - were to come. Pinot noir on the heavier soils with more clay and loess (block 3, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13), chardonnay (block 2, 6, 8 and 9) and riesling (block 1, 2 and 4) on the lighter soils with more slate and gravel. 9 blocks were planted from 1992 to 1994, with a planting density of 2667 canes / ha. In 2001, blocks 10 through 12 were planted with the latest Dijon clones of the pinot noir, (113, 114, 115, 667 and 777) on low vines. Here they opted for a planting density of 4000 sticks / ha, so that more concentration of the wines was achieved. The small block 13 (0.6 ha) was planted in 2002 as a test with a planting density of 6667 vines / ha, such as in Burgundy. Felton Road is a wine producer from the New Wine World that should definitely be followed as one of the best candidates for excellent chardonnay and pinot noir.