Labour weekend signals the opening of the prominent Remarkables Market spring and summer season – a showcase of artisan crafts, gifts, regional food and wine. Located at the Red Barn in Queenstown’s Remarkables Park this popular Saturday market is a key attraction on the local calendar.
CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT PORT The rapid wine growing industry in Central Otago was the impetus Debra Cruickshank needed to open her own boutique winery, DC Wines Ltd.
“I started in an unassuming storage shed back in 2012 and eventually renovated a large shed in Bannockburn into a winery,” says Debra. “ I currently make around 30 different wines for small vineyard producers including various fruit ports and my own label.”
In 2013 Debra established Tannacrieff Wines, named after her family farm in the Catlins in Southland.
“ I began by making Pinot Noir, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Gris and then started experimenting with Pinot Noir Port as no one else was doing it. This has now become one of my greatest successes with the Pinot Noir Ruby Port a star seller.”
“Duck shooting is a big part of our life and I have developed our first Tannacrieff Ruby Port Hunters Collection with wine labels made by a very talented artist and friend, Tui Johnston, that feature my father and his Labrador. We source the unique bottles from Italy, then hand label each one and wax every top. It’s been incredibly successful and is such a wonderful representation of Central Otago.”
Debra has now added The Red Stag Ruby to the collection and has also been blending her Pinot Noir Ruby Port into small batches of Tawny Port.
“Everywhere I go including the Remarkables Market the Ruby Ports are a drawcard along with my Rosé and Pinot Gris which always sell out fast,” says Debra. “ Bannockburn is my home and being able to create something unique using local Pinot Noir just adds to the importance of the products and the place.”
Debra’s business achievements were recognised in 2017 when she won the New Zealand Supreme Rural Women Award.
“This has created a whirlwind of new opportunities and successes for my wine label and I am very happy to have become part of Rural Women New Zealand.”