Central Otago wine company Nanny Goat Vineyard has secured its first vineyard and tasting room in Queensberry, midway between Wanaka and Cromwell on the schist terraces above the Clutha River.
The 19.6 ha property at 68 Queensberry Terrace was established for Archangel Wines by founders Ian and Mary Zurakowski in 2003 and sold to Joval Family Wines NZ Limited in August this year.
The Nanny Goat Vineyard brand was established in 2004 by Joval Family Wines founder John Valmorbida. Using grapes purchased from Central Otago growers, the first vintage was produced in 2005 and the wines sold via the Valmorbida family’s significant Australian and New Zealand wine distribution businesses in both countries and in Asia and the United Kingdom.
Winemaker Alan Peters-Oswald joined Nanny Goat in 2010 after five years with Cloudy Bay in Marlborough. He is a Central Otago local, having grown up in Roxburgh and gone to high school in Dunedin, and now resides on the Queensberry property with his family. “Central Otago has always had a strong pull for me – it is great to be back and to be able to show my family some of the experiences I had growing up.”
The Queensberry site is Nanny Goat’s first vineyard and includes the stylish, modern tasting room, both representing significant steps forward for the label. Peters-Oswald says: “For a long while now Nanny Goat Vineyard has had a very dedicated following internationally, particularly in Australia, but perhaps we’ve flown a little under the radar in our home market. The cellar door in Queensberry will provide us with a fantastic space where people, locals and tourists alike can come and discover our wines in a friendly relaxed atmosphere.”
As a region, Central Otago has a worldwide reputation for fine Pinot Noir, the star variety making up a significant portion of Nanny Goat’s production as they pursue the elusive notion of ‘the perfect Pinot’. Nanny Goat currently produces three different Pinot Noirs: Nanny Goat Vineyard, Super Nanny and Basket Case. Recently the 2017 Nanny Goat Vineyard ‘Super Nanny’ Pinot Noir won a Gold Medal with 96 points at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) competition.
“We also make a Chardonnay and a skin contact/orange wine made from a blend of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. In time we will complement these with Riesling, Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir Rose from the former Archangel vineyard. Chardonnay is making a big resurgence in Central Otago, so to have one hectare of mature Chardonnay vines planted and scope to plant a little more is particularly exciting.”
Regarding the opportunity to establish a physical home for the Nanny Goat label, Peters-Oswald says: “We saw the Archangel Vineyard as the complete package. Ian and Mary had a proven history of producing exceptional quality fruit and award-winning wines and the cellar door was a perfect place to build our brand presence and make our wines readily accessible to the local market. Ian and Mary were looking to move on to new opportunities at the same time we were looking for the perfect home for Nanny Goat.”
He pays credit to the Zurakowskis and what they created with Archangel. “The Zurakowski family showed incredible foresight when they planted the Archangel vineyard in Queensberry. They consulted with some very well-respected local industry leaders and could not have possibly done a better job.
“Archangel was a brand that told a very personal story of family history, struggle and perseverance. We feel that we cannot continue to genuinely tell the Archangel story without a personal connection to the history. The wines made from the 2019 vintage just prior to our acquisition have been labelled with a Nanny Goat label that speaks to the transition of the vineyard from one family’s history to another’s future, giving credit to those who helped shape the wines on the journey. From the 2020 vintage, Nanny Goat will produce a range of organic, single vineyard wines from the former Archangel vineyard. We are very grateful for the platform the Zurakowskis laid for us, and we are excited to continue to build our own legacy from the vineyard that is now the home of Nanny Goat.”
Currently 11 ha are planted in grapes and plans are in place to plant the remaining bare land. “More Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and perhaps also something a little different,” says Peters-Oswald.
The tasting room is now open five days a week under the Nanny Goat Vineyard name and offers wine tastings and grazing platters ideal for a relaxed lunch or afternoon wine. Visit www.nannygoatvineyard.co.nz for more details or follow Nanny Goat on Instagram @nannygoatpinot and Twitter @NannyGoatPinot.