Summer 14/15 at Folding Hill

Since early December we have been having the most incredible Summer at Folding Hill. Consistently warm temperatures have given us great canopy growth and an excellent even flowering and fruitset. We are just into veraison (when berries turn green to black) and are thinning fruit so we get our usual low cropping levels. The nets will be on soon. Fingers crossed that the lovely weather continues until vintage in April!

In the winery we are just finalising the blends for the 2014 Estate and Ballasalla Pinot Noirs ahead of bottling at the end of March. The 14 wines are looking very smart, as is the 2013 Orchard Block which will be bottled at the same time. 

Our next release is the 2012 Orchard Block which is scheduled for May - it is a beautiful wine, quite reminiscent of the 2009. As there is such a limited quantity of this (84 cases!) in New Zealand it will only be available to our mailing list customers so if you are interested in buying some and you are not on our mailing list, please let us know.

Joelle Thomson is impressed with how well our wines age! click to read more 

John Saker visits Folding Hill

It was a great pleasure to host top wine writer John Saker at Folding Hill in early September.

Matthew cooked up a brilliant lamb burger for lunch and John tasted his way through a vertical line up of our Pinot Noirs, which he gave very positive feedback on. It was particularly pleasing that the earlier vintages were drinking superbly.

Review of the 2012 Estate Pinot Noir

“Easy aromatic charm-floral mostly, with wisps of red and dark fruit. The palate is stunning…..complex, nice chew, oozing fruit charm. Harmonious, with superb length. 19/20 5 stars” 24/9/14

July 2014 - Season Review 13/14

An interesting season! We had a relatively early start with budburst in mid September which was followed by great weather through to Christmas. A good, even flowering resulted in excellent fruit set and by early January it was obvious that there was a lot of fruit on the vines-this was thinned extensively prior to veraison. 

January was warm and very windy at times - we actually had a few rows on the western side of the vineyard blow over, and the remainder of the summer was extremely dry with virtually no rain through February and March.

Because of the early start we were thinking that we would have a relatively eary harvest but in the end we picked on April 10th which is pretty much average for us. The fruit was in exceptional condiiton with large bunches but nice small berries and most importantly great flavours. 

As usual we fully destemmed the fruit and fermented it with wild and innoculated yeasts and when the wines were in balance ran them into their barrels where they will sit until bottling.

Of course it is too early to say exactly what the wines of 2014 will be like but the wines were looking promising as they went into barrel 

Cameron Douglas MS Reviews

2011 Estate Pinot Noir

Quite a youthful bouquet with taut aromas of light red fruits - freeze-dried raspberry and sweet black cherry and plum, a hint of peppery fruit spice and soft dried herb  qualities; medium+ influence of oak; On the palate - dry with a youthfully taut palate showing off the vibrant fruit quality and cooler climate of Otago with medium+ acidity; the oak is noticable, but only because the wine is young and requires some integration time, medium fine tannins. Balanced with medium+ length and complexity.   5 Stars                                     

2012 Estate Pinot Noir                

 A very youthful bouquet with fresh, lively and tart smelling fruits - lots of cherry and cranberry notes along with red apple skin; moderate yet noticeable oak and moderate complexity. On the palate - dry with a noticeable core of ripe and sweet fruit - very generous in this regard; moderate bite of oak, medium+ acidity, medium+ fine tannins. Blanced with medium+ complexity and length. Well made and destined to cellar well for 5+ years. 5 Stars

14th April 2014-Harvest Report - Beautiful weather, a great picking crew and lovely fruit - perfect! Season 2013/14 started early and everything pointed to a relatively eary harvest but in the end we picked on April 10th which is pretty much average for us. The fruit was in exceptional condiiton with large bunches but nice small berries and most importantly great flavours. As usual we fully destemmed the fruit and it is currently sat in the winery cold soaking and waiting for the yeasts to start working their magic.


4th March 2014 - Some unsettled weather over the last few days but a big high pressure sliding in from the Tasman should get things back on track for the weekend. This has been an interesting and challenging season so far with a hot, settled spring followed by a windy (we even had rows blow over in mid January) and intermittently cool summer. Our picking projection is around 9th and 10th April at the moment but that is going to depend on good weather and how things look (and taste!) in the vineyard.

We bottled our 2012 Orchard Block and 2013 Estate Pinot Noirs on Valentines day. I really like the way they looked pre-bottling which is a good time to start to think how the wines will taste when we relese them (immediately post bottling the wines pack a bit of a sad and sulk around for 6 to 12 months). The 2012 is now emerging from its introspective period and starting to stretch its metaphorical wings a little - we showed it at the recent Central Otago Pinot Celebration where it was very well received, with Raymond Chan rating it 18.5/20 which is very encouraging at this early stage.

Upcoming release - the 2011 Orchard Block will be released next month. We are awaiting the labels being printed (we have tweaked them very slightly) and once we have them on the bottles we will send the wine out for review and then offer them to our loyal mailing list customers first. If you are not on the list and would like to join, please do so here SOLD OUT

February 2014 -Pinot Noir Celebration 

At the end of January we took part in the 10th Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration where our 2012 Estate Pinot Noir made its debut! We were lucky enough to host top wine writers Jamie Goode and Jane Parkinson from the UK and Jane Skilton MW from New Zealand for tastings at Folding Hill and it was very gratifying to get their feedback on our wines, including Jamie describing our Estate 2012 and Orchard Block 2011 as "mind-blowingly good!". The 2011 Orchard Block will be released shortly, with the Estate 2012 following later in the year.

2010 Orchard Block now sold out

Thanks to everyone who has bought our 2010 Orchard Block which is now sold out. Because of the demand for the very limited quantities (75 cases) of the Orchard Block Pinot Noir the next release will be on an allocation basis with preference given to our mailing list customers.                

UK Vertical Tastings October 2013

We had the opportunity to show verticals of all the Pinot Noirs we have made so far recently in the UK. The wines all showed well, non more so than the 2007 which is probably now approaching its peak. Harry Morris wrote an excellent piece for his blog which details the tasting at Reserve Wines in Manchester. Please click here to read.

Chris Kissack reviews the 2010 Pinot Noir

Top UK wine writer (and fellow Manxman) Chris Kissack has kindly taken the time to review our 2010 Pinot Noir. A thoughtful and interesting piece- many thanks Chris.

© Folding Hill Wine Company 2014