Respect for Akarua as a beautifully crafted Central Otago wine style is now well recognised and the Rua label is part of this. First planted in 1996 Akarua's 50 hectare estate is located in picturesque Bannockburn. Wines are 'hard won' from soils that are mostly broken schist and sand. There are extremes of hot and cold; frosts in winter, and dry nor'westers that devigorate the vines. The site's topography is dominated by ancient alluvial terraces bordered by parapets of hill blocks that stand vigil against prevailing conditions. From this background the Akarua team's vision is clear: to reveal the special and unique characters of the terroir, united with the qualities of each vintage so that they are truly reflected in each bottle that you experience. Accolades over the years are a continuing endorsement of wine quality. In 2003 Cuisine Magazine awarded a double accolade to the flagship Akarua Pinot Noir and 'The Gullies' Pinot Noir, achieving No. 1 and 2 respectively in the New Zealand Reds tasting. This was closely followed by the Pinot Noir Trophy and Champion Wine of the Show at the prestigious Air New Zealand Wine Awards. Akarua Pinot Noir has won 3 consecutive golds at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2001-03 while the prestigious U.S. magazine 'Wine Spectator' has rated two successive vintages an impressive 92 points. More recently the 2005 vintage was awarded 93 points by Bob Campbell and selected in his top five Pinot Noirs from the Central Otago region. A proud evolution!
Matt Connell - winemaker - completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology in 2001. Following University, Matt spent six months at Wynn's Coonawarra Estate in South Australia before moving on to Elk Cove Vineyards in Oregon's Willamette Valley, working with Adam Godlee Campbell. It is here that Matt fostered his love for Pinot Noir and cool climate winemaking. After three years as Assistant Winemaker at Elk Cove - including working a vintage for Peregrine Wines in Central Otago in 2003 under Michelle Richardson - Matt returned to Central Otago to take up the position of Winemaker at Olssen's of Bannockburn in January 2005. When Matt is not making wines, he is found chasing trout, or spending time with his American wife Beth and their two young children, Emma and Noah.
Great value, this; Akarua’s drink-now model is highly user-friendly, notes of cherry, violet and rosewater wafting in its ... More>