Dicey Wines in Bannockburn

New Geographical Indicator for Bannockburn and what does that even mean?!

Everyone in Central Otago and New Zealand at large knows Bannockburn for its high efficiency as regards wine production. Bannockburn is surrounded by mountains and one of the driest and warmest locations. The brambly and rich wines are made from Pinot Noir and have great aging potential. There are also different varieties of grape in the region – they include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, and Pinot Gris.

The Terrains of Bannockburn

Bannockburn is about 20 miles away from Queenstown. At first, the terrain would serve as a great deposit for miners as its southern side was discovered to be full of minerals. As a result, more enterprising settlers inhabited the location to amass their fortune. Even to date, there are effects of mining and sluicing activity on its terroir.

Dicey Wines in Bannockburn

Dicey Wines in Bannockburn

One would have expected the mining effect to affect its viticulture. However, farmers have devised soils that help to get excellent yields. They enjoy a diversity of soils like sandy loam or greywacke gravels to nourish their plantings. The soil helps a farmer to grow their high-quality grapes which often come concentrated and small – the grapes are responsible for structure and intensity in the wines.

The effect of the soil type on viticulture

The soil types help to forgo irrigation because of their high water-retention ability. Bannockburn is also called the "heart of the desert" because of its dry and warm climate. Long autumns often precede the hot summers, even though this encourages early harvest unlike in colder places. A warmer climate helps to ripen grapes with astonishing flavours.

Without any iota of doubt, Bannockburn is regarded as one of the best sub-regions in Central Otago. Many have argued that the reason is because of its nearness to Mecca for tourism, while some have argued the reason is because of its terrain and quality. No matter the school of "argument" you belong to, you cannot deny the international success the wines have brought to Bannockburn.


Geographical Indication (GI) is the sign or name for products that are peculiar to a specific origin and location. It helps to serve as the certification needed to prove the quality of the product. GI helps to boast of a good reputation and a high level of assurance.

In New Zealand, Central Otago has the GI and is famously known for the commercial growth of wine. There are several varieties of white wine but Pinot Noir is the famous choice of wine in this region. According to estimations, 70% of the plantings are Pinot Noir while the rest of the production accounts for Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris.


Bannockburn is at the southern banks of Cromwell and Kawarau River. However, it is not the only sub-region in the Central Otago wine region. Others include;

  1. Bendigo – in between Lake Dunstan and Clutha River
  2. Gibbston – a mountainous location at the bank of Kawarau River, towards the south.
  3. Wanaka – a small sub-region between Luggate Town and Wanaka.
  4. Cromwell Basin
  5. Alexandra Basin


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.