Amisfield Wine Company was established in 1988 and is a Central Otago based specialist producer of Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines created from fruit grown on their Estate vineyard beneath the Pisa Mountain range in the Cromwell Basin.
This privately owned company’s 200ha property, once a prominent high country merino station, is one of the largest single vineyard estates in the Central Otago region. Over 80ha is currently planted with the majority of the vines being over ten years old.
Amisfield wines reflect the company’s grape growing and winemaking philosophy underlining faithful expression of site, minimal winemaking intervention and ultimate fruit purity. Stringent yield management practices deliver concentrated fruit flavour, consistency and complexity derived from the range of soils found on the vineyard.
A state-of-the-art purpose built winery is the focal point of the vineyard and produces 20,000 -30,000 cases of wine annually. Pinot Noir accounts for over 60% of the production with the balance made up of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling.
Wines are showcased at Amisfield’s Lake Hayes Bistro and Wine Tasting Room where more than 50,000 New Zealand and international guests sample the range of vintages every year.
Amisfield is an accredited and committed member of the New Zealand Winegrowers’ Sustainable Winegrowing Programme centring on a quality management system and environmental sustainability.
CENTRAL OTAGO WINE REGION
Surrounded by mountains and interlaced with lakes and deep river gorges Central Otago is New Zealand’s most spectacular vineyard region. The inland mountainous location, on the 45th parallel, provides a semi-continental climate with extremely cold winters, hot summers, cool night time temperatures and low rainfall. The unique climate combines with glacially derived soils to produce spectacular southern wines which have a purity, intensity and vibrancy highlighting the region’s terroir and pure mountain air. The sub-regions of Central Otago are: Wanaka, Cromwell, Lowburn, Pisa, Bendigo, Alexandra, Gibbston and Bannockburn.
Amisfield’s Pisa Winery complex was opened in 2006.
This two-level architecturally designed rustic agricultural style production facility has a 550 tonne production capacity designed to enable winemakers to craft wines as efficiently as possible.
From an elevated receival and fruit sorting area, hand-picked fruit is transferred via conveyer belts into purpose build fermentation tanks. This “hands off” approach ensures the maximum retention of fruit integrity and quality.
Wine barrels are stored in a semi-underground facility reducing the need for temperature and humidity control, subsequently diminishing energy consumption and underlining Amisfield’s on-going dedication to sustainability.
AMISFIELD & SUSTAINABILITY
Amisfield works within the principles of the New Zealand Winegrowers Sustainable winegrowing programme.
One of Amisfield’s cornerstone sustainability projects has been the development of New Zealand’s first wetland winery waste water recycling plants and is testament to Amisfield’s on-going commitment to sustainable management practices throughout their business.
Winery waste water is channelled through aquatic plants in a created wetland area, before being irrigated onto the vineyard while any solid waste is composted and added back to the soil to provide essential nutrients to the vines.
Amisfield’s wetland system and composting processes have set new benchmarks for industry best practice and the company and its team of dedicated personnel are focused on identifying further innovative ways in which to make quality wine with as little environmental impact as possible.
AMISFIELD WINERY & BISTRO
Idyllically located overlooking Lake Hayes and back dropped by the Remarkables Mountain range, is the iconic stone building which houses Amisfield’s Bistro and Wine Tasting room.
This distinctive Central Otago wine complex integrates with the landscape through the combining of local schist, copper roofing and recycled hardwood timber. Opened in 2005, the Bistro offers a daily changing a la carte menu and the “Trust the Chef” signature menu which offers a shared dining experience, with dishes selected by the chef based on fresh produce and ingredients available on the day. The food is an expression of local seasonal ingredients simply prepared, and an ultimate compliment to the wines.
Amisfield Winery & Bistro has had global recognition and among many other distinctions won the Cuisine Magazine’s Best Winery Restaurant award in 2006 and 2007 and was listed in Cuisine Magazine’s Top 50 NZ Restaurants of the Year, in 2011 and 2012.
DR STEPHANIE LAMBERT WINEMAKER
Dr Stephanie Lambert graduated from the University of Adelaide with a PH.D in Oenology in 2002.
Following her graduation Stephanie spent three years in Australia, Oregon and Burgundy, before being drawn back to New Zealand where she joined Sileni Estates in Hawkes Bay. In 2008 Stephanie became assistant winemaker at Amisfield before being appointed winemaker in 2010.
This appointment was a realisation of her long held ambition to make quality Pinot Noir under snow-capped mountains in Central Otago.
Stephanie was attracted by the “hands-off” approach to winemaking at Amisfield’s state-of-the-art wine production facility at Pisa.
“Amisfield’s ‘grown not made’ concept is so much in line with my own philosophy for making wines with integrity and purity from quality grapes. The standard of viticulture is extremely high and there is an incredible sense of place at Amisfield with the vineyards surrounding the winery and all the winery activity concentrated in one area.”
When she is not making wine Stephanie enjoys spending family time at the playground with her cheeky young son Jasper.
ANDRE LATEGAN VINEYARD MANAGER
Vineyard Manager Andre Lategan has recently celebrated a decade of growing Amisfield grapes.
“I take endless pleasure in the satisfaction of all the effort put into tending and producing the fruit for our silky smooth wines. It is definitely not without its frustrations however, such as freezing winters, spring and autumn frosts, high winds and low soil fertility. These arduous conditions can test the wine farmer’s mettle over time but we are very fortunate as there are not many sites in the world that have this sort of climate, with its extremes of heat and cold, which can produce such top Pinot Noirs as well as great aromatic wines.”
Andre joined the Amisfield team with an extensive viticulture background gained from his family’s Cape Town vineyard.
Andre and his wife Susan and their daughter Adrienne love the location which they have chosen to live in in their adopted country.
“We are so lucky to live on the farm at the foot of the majestic Pisa Mountains, never far from our cherished vines.”