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Felton Road

Felton Road

the region’s brightest light

Of the 25 or so wineries that make up Bannockburn, Felton Road has the most to answer for when it comes to putting the New Zealand region on the map. Not to be confused with the Bannockburn of rural Victoria, Central Otago’s Bannockburn and the Felton Road winery shine across the Strait as the region’s brightest light, if not one of New Zealand’s greatest names.

The shared passion of proprietor Nigel Greening and winemaker Blair Walter for understanding rather than moulding terroir is the driving force behind this now infamous operation. 

Knowledge is power

Wildly intelligent and a prolific writer, you can see Nigel’s passion for Bannockburn and Felton Road clear as day from his journal-style blogs on the Felton Road website, a treasure trove of details for anyone with a similar fervour. Blair has one too, with a spring and an autumn entry every year dating back to 2006.

Perhaps its this attitude by Nigel that makes the Felton Road so successful; “All winemakers are students of their craft: no intelligent practitioner thinks they have mastered it.” Knowledge is certainly power, as is this level of epic terroir - but understanding it is key.

Whether you’re putting your money on the Bannockburn terrain or the ingenuity of these two minds, there’s no denying Felton Road produce truly world-class wines.

Blair Walter has made every single vintage of Felton Road since its inception in 1997. Felton Road produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, with five Pinots (four single vineyard releases and a Bannockburn blend) and three of each white in the mix.

There’s a distinction to Bannockburn Pinot Noir that the locals will tell you is unmistakably marked by terroir, setting it apart from other regions of Central Otago.

Easy ripening seems to propagate a dark fruit deepness on the palate, while lots of warm north-facing gentle slopes with plenty of heavy, silty soil set up silkier, clay-like tannins for plush Pinot that has the experts mistaking it for Burgundy.

For Felton Road, genuine, pragmatic sustainability is at the forefront of every decision. In 2006, Nigel declared it the reason to cap Felton Road production at 150,000 bottles per year forevermore.
“All winemakers are students of their craft: no intelligent practitioner thinks they have mastered it.”

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