Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Visiting Quartz Reef Cellar Door

Quartz Reef was founded in 1996 with grapes planted at their Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate vineyard under the guidance of renowned Austrian born wine maker Rudi Bauer. Marketing Manager Lianne Collins vineyard conditions have been ideal after a long, hot summer and they are excited about the 2022 harvest.

What new developments are there at Quartz Reef this year?

We have a secret grape variety growing in our vineyard – Gruner Veltliner. Traditionally grown in Austria it is an ode to Rudi Bauer’s homeland and is very hard to come by. We have only a few rows planted with a small annual production –you need to know who to call to access some!

Why is the Quartz Reef Royal Block wine so special?

For many years, the ferment from Block 12 (the Royal Block) was allocated an Austrian royalty name permanently linking our Austrian interns with their time in New Zealand. The ferment from this special block has its own unique personality and in 2015 we bottled a small quantity of wine from the Royal Block, named Franz Ferdinand, and released our first Royal Block . Our second release is from our 2017 vintage named Otto.

What have been recent accolades for Quart Reef?

We recently had our new vintage reviewed in Europe alongside some Austrian grown examples and we were right up there at the top (Falstaff April 2022). We are very proud of the most recent review for our Bendigo Single Ferment Pinot Noir 2019 which was a stellar year not only for us but for our region.

What can winter visitors experience at the Quartz Reef cellar door in Cromwell?

Visiting the South Island’s only working winery, hand producing Methode Traditionnelle sparkling wine in the traditional Champagne method, includes seeing rows of riddling racks often laden with bottles and occasionally Rudi Bauer riddling. Visitors may even catch us disgorging our sparkling and preparing it for sale which is a real peek behind the scenes. We have a selection of wines open for tasting and sometimes there is an option to head out to the Bendigo vineyard with Rudi to learn about our organic and biodynamic philosophy and farming practice.