In 1852, William Ostler emigrated from Yorkshire to New Zealand to manage Benmore Station near Omarama for Robert Campbell. Campbell, of Castle Duntroon in Scotland, had already emigrated and bought Otekaieke Station in the lower Waitaki. As a pioneer in the new colony Ostler soon desired his own station and, in time, bought first Ben Ohau behind today's Twizel township, and subsequently Lilibank at the head of Lake Tekapo, from the original squatters who had occupied the vast tracts of land some years before.
In 1998, unaware of this history, Ostler's great grandson Jim Jerram and his brother-in-law, winemaker and viticulturist Jeff Sinnott, went prospecting for suitable grape-growing country in the lower Waitaki's limestone country, inland from Oamaru. At that time there was no history of commercial winegrowing in the region. The two discovered a site that Sinnott believed encapsulated the essential parameters for growing premium cool climate wine grapes; a north-facing limestone-influenced slope on an escarpment overlooking the braided river. It reminded him of the famous slopes of Burgundy.
The first Pinot Noir vines were planted at 'Clos Ostler' in 2002 and, with Jeff Sinnott as partner, viticultural adviser and winemaker, the venture was a launched. Over the next two years, further Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines were planted. International recognition and accolades soon followed.
North Otago, New Zealand
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer
CELLAR DOOR HOURS
Late October - April: Wednesday to Sunday (7 days during peak Summer) 11.00am - 5.00 pm