||In keeping with their philosophy of sourcing grape varieties from the regions that they perform best, Maude obtain their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from Central Otago and Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough.
"It certainly is the spot to make Pinot Noir - we currently have 26 different parcels in the winery, split into Central Otago sub-regions, vineyard sites, vineyard blocks and Pinot clones (of which we trialed 8 different clones) and all offer different attributes towards the holy grail."
Sarah-Kate, post vintage 2006
|Location map for Central Otago and Marlborough | view
Wanaka: Nestled in the base of Mount Maude is a small Central Otago vineyard owned by Sarah-Kates' parents, Dawn and Dr Terry Wilson, in the beautiful Maungawera Valley near Wanaka, New Zealand. Dawn, a celebrated ceramic artist and Terry, a musically gifted doctor, had the foresight to plant Mount Maude vineyard in 1994 on a steep, north-facing terraced slope. The long dry autumn in Central Otago and the terroir of Mount Maude provide perfect ripening conditions for their grapes
Four hectares of Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are currently in production. The soil profile of clay and gravel mix is free draining and stable. A modification of the GDC trellising system allows individual vines to receive maximum exposure.
Other sub-regions within Central Otago that Maude source their grapes from include Bannockburn, Bendigo, Gibbston and Lowburn.
Bannockburn: Currently the most intensively planted of the microclimates, Bannockburn is a North facing crescent bordering the Kawarau River as it flows across the base of the Cromwell valley to its meeting with the Clutha River. This is a warm site which has a long fruit growing tradition.
Bendigo: Though relatively recently planted is one of the most exciting sub-regions and is possibly the warmest. Bendigo consists of a North facing ridge at the junction of the Cromwell and Lindis valleys, with more gentle Northerly slopes below it.
Gibbston: The first location to be planted in grapes, Gibbston is a north facing valley slope of The Kawarau Gorge, as it falls from Queenstown to Cromwell. The coolest of the sub regions, and visually very dramatic, it produces a distinctive intensity from the later harvest grapes produced here.
Lowburn: This area stretches from the township of Lowburn up the Greater Cromwell valley for some 25 kilometers. As it is one of the warmer regions, Pinot Noir seems to ripen here without the need of slopes.
The distinctive pungency and zest fruit flavours of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc captured the imagination of both national and international wine commentators and consumers, which sparked an unparalleled vineyard boom in the region. Worldwide interest in Marlborough wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc, has continued to fuel that regional wine boom.
Within the region, viticulture has been developed primarily on sites with moderate low fertility and a noticeably stony, sandy loam top soil overlying deep layers of free-draining shingle, as found in the viticulturally developed areas of the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. These shallow, fast draining, low fertility soils help to produce a lush, aromatic ripe wine because they reduce the vines vigour.