Established in 1993 by itinerant actor Sam Neill, initially the sole aim was to share ethereal pinot noir moments with loved ones. Sam is now the only producer to own land in the three main valleys of Central Otago - Gibbston, Bannockburn (Cromwell Basin) and Alexandra. All vineyards are certified organic. Two Paddocks Estate Pinot Noir is an assemblage of the four vineyards and is a barrel selection comprised of the older blocks. Tiny volumes of single vineyard wines, The Proprietor's Reserves, are also produced. Sam writes the website himself, with one simple rule, it must "keep me amused". And his social media following is significant with 225K followers on Twitter alone @TwoPaddocks
Location of Vineyard
Central Otago, New Zealand. Central Otago Sub Regions - The First Paddock Vineyard is in Gibbston, The Fusilier Vineyard is in Bannockburn and The Last Chance and The Red Bank Vineyards are in Alexandra. *Central Otago is the Southern-most viticultural area in the Antipodes - eg. it sits on the 45th Parallel below Tasmania.
Two Paddocks aims to produce understated gentle savoury expressions of their extreme Southern cool climate schist rock origins. Two Paddocks vineyards and wines are certified organic and revolve around a holistic sustainable farming model wherebye all waste from the winery is returned to the vineyards and converted to compost, to be fed back on to the land. The over-riding philosophy is to never take out of the soil more than is being given back. This robust soil biomass will create vibrant healthy vines that produce the very best expressions of their Central Otago terroir. All the crew in the vineyard are full time employees of Two Paddocks, except for the height of summer when extra help is required for all the labour intensive work that organic farming practices demand eg. green thinning and hand harvesting. Nurturing the vines and creating a balanced crop load is important in Central Otago's sometimes marginal cool climate so the cropping levels are very low at 5 Tonne per hectare maximum. Harvest is usually early April and the fruit is sorted in the vineyard then given a 5-7 day cold maceration to extract colour and aroma. The ferments have a high proportion of total whole cluster - 25% for the Estate Two Paddocks and 50-70% for the Proprietor's Reserves. An indigenous fermentation then begins spontaneously with no added commercial yeasts added and the ferment is only plunged once a day for the most gentle of extractions. Fermentation temperatures typically reach 30-32 degrees celsius and post fernent the wine is given another 5-7 days on skins depending on the year - so total time on skins is approximately 25-30 days. The wine is then given 11 months maturation in medium toast French barriques - 20% new oak and the balance in one - five year old barrels. At bottling the wine is sometimes given a light egg white fining, depending on the year, and a course filtration. Screwcaps are used because of historical adverse affects that cork has had on quality and Two Paddocks want the consumer to receive the very best Two Paddocks wine that is possible - just as the winemaker and The Prop intended.