About Us
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New Beginnings
Akarua was created in 1996, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were the two varietals first planted on the estate.
10 years after the founding of Rimapere in the Marlborough Valley, the country’s leading wine region, Edmond de Rothschild Heritage purchased 34.5 of the best hectares in Akarua, a historic and pioneering vineyard in Central Otago.

The vast majority of these 34.5 hectares are in Cairnmuir, ideally placed given its reputation as the holy grail of Bannockburn. Nestled in the foothills of the mountains and amid breathtaking scenery, the land here offers rare balanced conditions which are suited to producing very fine pinot noirs.

On gentle north-west facing slopes, the vineyard is exposed to the sun during the hottest hours of the day. The westerly wind that passes through it reduces the risk of plant disease and frost.

In te reo Māori, the name ‘Akarua’ means two vines. Pinot noir and chardonnay were the two varietals first planted on the estate. They now represent 78.5% and 2% of the parcels respectively, and a small amount of pinot gris and riesling completes the offering.

Drawing on the know-how of local teams and on its own international winemaking expertise, Edmond de Rothschild Heritage’s ambition is to optimise Akarua’s outstanding potential in order to produce the country’s finest pinot noir from a single estate, to create elegant wines and exceptional cuvées and to become the New Zealand benchmark in both domestic and international markets.
“Our aim is to elevate Akarua to showcase the very best of what Central Otago wine can offer.”
Pete Bartle - Senior Winemaker
At Akarua we take an uncompromising approach to make textural wines of finesse, with poise and elegance. We take a holistic view, starting in the vineyard with care down to the individual vine, through to our gentle winemaking. Our aim is to elevate Akarua to showcase the very best of what Central Otago wine can offer.

Pinot noir, the second most widely planted grape variety in New Zealand, captures and reproduces the intensity from the terroir of Akarua and the Bannockburn landscapes, resulting in extremely aromatic, fruity and voluptuous wines, underpinned by a taut structure and silky texture.

The attention and care given to each and every vine will allow us to identify and optimise existing potential in order to create exceptional cuvées, selected from extremely high quality parcels or from special vinification. For the New Zealand market, Akarua will also produce a rosé from the Cairnmuir Road pinot noir grapes, which will be pale in colour due to the pressing process, and still white wines made from chardonnay, pinot gris and riesling.
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