As of September 2018, 10 years after we brought the sheep paddock, Queensberry Gardens (LazyDog®) Wines & Garden Restaurant is the final stage in our ambition to be self-supporting on a rural Central Otago property.
Bringing the physical wine-making home to our site, for the 2019 vintage, is a natural progression as we move to the final stages of a project that started over 13 years ago.
Friends retired after 25 years of restaurant operation in February 2018 and released to us the refrigeration units we needed to start a small winery on-site. We purchased barrels and Dean made the VCR tanks in between cooking our guest’s fillet steaks and wine platters.
All manner of pumps, hoses, and specialist wine making equipment was ordered and we pretended not to notice the dramatic effect on our bank balance.
The roof structure is assembled, concreted in and will receive its cladding in time for the 2019 vintage.
In the 2018 vintage we took 6.5 tonnes of grapes from our vineyards and made 5 wines on our own premises, under the strict direction and “hands-on” participation of our long term wine consultant and friend Jeff Sinnott:
- LazyDog® – “Queensberry Reserve” Chenin Blanc (for release April 2019)
- LazyDog® – “Queensberry” Chenin Blanc
- LazyDog® – “Sweet on Chenin” Later Harvest Chenin Blanc/ Gewürztraminer blend
- LazyDog® – “Shady Lady” Rose
- LazyDog® – “Blown Away” Gewürztraminer
300 cases produced. Now working under direction from Jeff Sinnott from the vineyard through to the winery.
Meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard ensured that clean ripe fruit was hand harvested in late April following a close to ideal ripening season. The grapes were de-stemmed and allowed a short period of skin contact before gentle pressing. The free run juice was fermented in tank to allow the delicate varietal characters to express themselves.
The pressings were fermented in old French oak with slightly higher solids to build texture into the final wine. The result is a delightful wine with typical flinty citrus characters lifted by a lovely tropical “fruit punch” nose. The palate is full bodied yet refined showing juicy pear, mandarin & stone fruit flavours balanced by fresh, lacy acidity. We would expect this wine to develop the classic honeysuckle aromas and luscious stone fruit flavours as it develops in bottle over the next decade or so.