Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Standout Wānaka Winery

Wānaka winery Paddon’s Paddock is making a name for itself being one of only four vineyards in New Zealand and the only one in Central Otago to produce the highly specialised wine varietal Sauvignon Gris.

The winery is owned by Jackie and Chris Paddon who together with their children are the driving force behind the label.

“We are a family run vineyard producing five exceptional wines with our winemaker Dean Shaw who is one of Central Otago’s most successful and experienced winemakers.”

The winery produces Pinot Noir, Rosé , Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and its point of difference is the production of its Jessica Sauvignon Gris, which takes its name from the Paddon’s eldest daughter.

“The wine is its own varietal that many people mistake for a blend of Blanc and Gris which it definitely is not,” says Jackie. “It is very much its own distinctive wine.”

With no previous experience in the wine industry the Paddons planted their first Pinot Noir vines in 2014. 

They say it was a big gamble that paid off only after a lot of grit and determination.

“In preparation we dug 63 holes to determine the shingle depth and soil type only to discover  the land lacked lime and was frost sensitive. Together as a family we dug trenches, turned the soil, sorted the watering and liquid fertilising infrastructure, planted the vines, plummeted the steel posts, connected wires and feeding pipes. It was a mammoth job but very satisfying.”

Producing five different wine varieties in the first four years of operation was a big challenge for the Paddons who wanted all their wines to be ready to consume and sell at the same time.

“A year after the Pinot Noir vines went in, we planted our white varieties. Pinot Noir ages for a year in barrels, then it sits in a bottle for six months before it’s ready to consume. Our white wines, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Gris and Chardonnay, are ready between five and nine months from harvest,” says Jackie.

Daughters Eve and Jessica have played a hands-on role in the vineyard development, planting and tending the vines. They also work part-time in the cellar door alongside Jackie.

“ Our shabby chic tasting room and bar is open Wednesday to Monday from 12.00pm until to 7.00pm  from October to January,” she says. “We love welcoming guests to enjoy a glass of wine or beer along with platters, pizzas or nibbles overlooking the spectacular silver birches and vineyard.”

“The vineyard is also a superb location to host private functions, birthday celebrations and small weddings. People can invite up to 40 people with no venue charge but we also cater for larger events. With plenty of parking for cars, trucks and buses it’s a gorgeous, private venue just 4.5 kilometres from Wānaka.”

Paddon’s Paddock event enquiries and bookings can be made  at