New Domestic and International Sales Manager

We are so glad to introduce to you Akarua's amazing new Domestic and International Sales Manager, Zoë Ladyman, who started with us on the 15th January. Zoë has such an extensive and exciting background in wine  - just read her bio below. To be honest we don’t know how we will keep up – but we will try!

Zoë has recently relocated with her family from Melbourne. For three years there, she has been doubling sales of the clever Vinous portfolio to the best restaurants and wine stores of Victoria and Tasmania, and telling the stories of wines from, amongst others, France, Austria, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and most remotely – Georgia.

Previously, Zoë built and co-directed Libertine Restaurantwith husband Nick Creswick for eight years which was awarded one ‘Chef’s Hat’ and ‘Best Short Wine List’ (first of award of this kind) in 2007 and 3rd place for ‘Wine List of the Year’ in 2010 The Age Good Food Guide.  She opened and co-directed Le Traiteur between 2010 and 2012 whose heavily buttered croissants featured favourably in The Age 2011 Cheap Eats Guide. She was awarded Wine Selector Magazine 2006 ‘Sommelier of the Year’ and was Electrolux ‘Young Restaurateur’ Finalist in 2009. Zoë was the pioneer sommelier at Ezard and carved out the role in 2004; and before that at Terence Conran’s Bibendum in London for three years, recommending wine to Kylie Minogue, Geoffrey Rush, Brian Ferry, Salman Rushdie and Dame Judy Dench amongst names worth dropping.  In 2002, she worked as 'stage' Assistant Winemaker in Bordeaux at ‘La Fleur de Boüard’ (owned by Hubert de Boüard of Chateau Angelus) in Lalande de Pomerol.

Seeking her next challenge, Zoë was thrilled to accept the role of Domestic and International Sales Manager at Akarua and is looking forward to going deeply down the rabbit hole into the minute details of each vineyard, parcel and row (good luck with that Zoe – it might take you a while to cover 123 ha’s)! She is looking forward to spreading the good word of Akarua as far and as wide as possible.

She and Nick have two children, aged 10 and 8 who are very excited to be out of the big smoke and amongst the mountains of Central Otago. When not cosily inside a wine glass, you’ll find her running the trails of the spectacular alpine countryside around her new home town of Wanaka.

Akarua Kolo Pinot Noir 2015 ranked 5 stars and 97 points by MW Bob Campbell

Master of Wine recently reviewed our first release of our Kolo Pinot Noir and this was awarded a fantastic 97 points and a top 5 ranking of all rated Pinot Noir from 2015. Bob explains "Kolo is a two-hectare vineyard site on Felton Road planted in Dijon clones of pinot noir. This is a tight, yet powerful pinot noir with wonderful energy and vibrance. An appealing aroma leads to cherry, plum, violet, spice and anise flavours. The wine has a fantastically silken and ethereal texture"

Bannockburn Maori legend tells the story of Kolo, a young boy who bravely defended his Mother and sister from a menacing Bouakai eagle.  Our Kolo block, situated on the presitigous Felton Road, has been chosen for its unique location, soils and history of producing outstanding quality fruit. Akarua Kolo Pinot Noir 2015 has been produced from only the best four barrels taken from this single block property, chosen for being truly representative of our site, the vintage and Bannockburn Pinot Noir. 

Akarua Vintage Brut 2011 takes trophy at Romeo Bragato Wine Awards for the second year running

Romeo Bragato Conference 2017

New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato Conference is the largest and one of the most important conferences for grape growers and wine makers on the New Zealand calendar. 

The 2017 conference held at the ASB Theatre and Convention Centre in Marlborough, from Wednesday 30 August to Thursday 31 August, with the Conference Dinner hosted on Thursday evening at the Omaka Heritage Centre had a fantastic line up of speakers and topics covering all things viticulture and winemaking. 

We were thrilled to have been awarded the trophy for Champion Sparkling Wine for our Akarua Vintage Brut 2011 for the second year running! 

New Zealand's only Master Sommelier has awarded Akarua Riesling a fantastic 95 points in his latest aromatic tasting, with only a few remaining cases of the 2015 vintage it's the perfect chance to grab those last bottles to enjoy. 

After a warmer few months, the harvest has officially finished and just in time for another Central Otago cold snap. With morning frost on the ground, our delicious fruit is safely tucked up in the winery destined for your favorite wines. A big thank you to all of our hardworking vineyard and winery teams, we hope the beautiful views made those early morning just a little bit easier! 

After a challenging season the winery and vineyard team were thrilled to begin the first of the harvest for our sparkling bases on Friday 10th March. Despite variable weather, something Central Otago is renowned for, the fruit was in perfect condition for harvesting so it was all systems go at 7am on our Lowburn vineyard. On Friday alone five tonne was harvested with more fruit coming in across the weekend!

We hope you all have a fantastic harvest and a memorable 2017 vintage...let the fun begin! 

Rose Month at Akarua

It may possibly be our favourite month of the year! February is officially Rosé Month thanks to the Sip NZ Rosé campaign. 

So whether you like your Rosé bubbly with friends or perfectly chilled with a beautiful summer barbeque, we are certain you will love our Rosé range. 


Akarua Rosé Brut NV

Akarua Rosé Brut NV is a delicious blend of our famous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the first two varietals planted on Akarua vineyards. Still to this day grown and harvested on our Estate Vineyards on Cairnmuir Road.

Akarua Rosé Brut is certainly a favourite with the critics. Recently recieving 5 stars from Dish magazines sparkling tasting...

“With its pretty pale pink hues and scents of strawberry shortcake this wine was an instant showstopper. Lifted florals, red berry fruits, fresh nutty complexity and a pretty, pillowy texture made this a clear favourite from the onset. Our judges were well and truly seduced. ‘Very pretty and showing excellent presence, structure and length"


RUA Pinot Rosé

With a recent Gold at the prestigious Air New Zealand Wine Awards, this beautiful Rosé has quickly become a summer hit! 

A fresh, light style of Rosé with strawberries and cream across the palate. Hints of passion fruit and watermelon with a bright, long finish. This is a perfect wine to enjoy young, accompanies seafood and the classic kiwi summer barbeque perfectly.

Thinking of stopping by for a tasting or to pick up a bottle to celebrate with over Christmas? Our Bannockburn cellar door will be open as below:

Saturday 24th 10:30am-2pm
Sunday 25th - Closed
Monday 26th - Closed
Tuesday 27th - Closed
Wednesday 28th - Saturday 31st - Normal opening hours
Sunday 1st January - Closed

From the team at Akarua, thank you for all of your business in 2016. We hope you have a fantastic Christmas and New Year and look forward to seeing you in 2017!

Akarua Scores High with Cameron Douglas

We were thrilled to hear that Master Sommellier Cameron Douglas loved our Pinot Noir's as his latest tasting and review. Both the Akarua Pinot Noir 2015 and RUA Pinot Noir 2016 scored extremely well. 

Akarua Pinot Noir 2015 - 95 Points

"Spicy and very fruity core with wild raspberry and cherry laden aromas, new and seasoned oak quite intense with vanilla and brown baking spices emerging as the wine opens-up. Dry on the palate with a core of red berry fruit – spiced cherry and wild fruits, definitive rose and red tea flavour, fine tannins, medium+ acidity and long finish. A lovely wine. "

RUA Pinot Noir 2016 - 93 Points

"Ripe, fresh, very fruity core with sweet raspberry and cherry, a hint of cola, rose and crushed rock, some new then seasoned oak suggestions. Juicy, fresh, crisp and dry; a lovely core of fruit, not too intense showing off vibrant red fruit, oak spice and texture – all leading to a lengthy and charming finish."

The wait is finally over as Akarua Wines and Kitchen by Artisan opened its doors on Saturday 10th December

Formally known as 'Walnut Cottage', the venue has undergone a loving but dramatic restoration to create a beautiful new al-fresco dining area and cellar door. Just minutes from historic Arrowtown this is a vision turned into reality for the Akarua family. We have teamed up with the talented team at Artisan catering to offer diners fresh, locally sourced, exciting food to accompany our award winning wines. 

Visitors will enjoy the relaxed ambience of the stunning gardens whilst the historic flour mill offices have been lovingly restored to create a stunning new dining and cellar door destination. General manager of Akarua Wines Kathryn Pettit explained “The cottage keeps its traditional beauty but with a contemporary twist. The addition of outside covered seating and decking provides the perfect place to spend a long summer afternoon with friends and family. The on-site cellar door also provides diners or passers-by to sample and pick up a bottle of their favourite Akarua wine, or have wine shipped to their door.

Akarua Wines and Kitchen by Artisan can be found at 265 Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road, Arrowtown T: 03 442 10920

W:  Facebook: AkaruaWinesKitchenbyartisan    Instagram: @akaruawineskitchenbyartisan 

#akaruawines  #akaruakitchen

Akarua Rose Brut NV wows at the Dish Magazine sparkling tasting

It has been a fantastic few weeks for our bubbles range with the latest 5 star review of our Rose Brut NV being no exception. The Dish magazine sparkling tasting recognized the Rose Brut NV as an "Instant Showstopper" and was a clear favorite among the critics. Here's what the Dish team had to say...

“With its pretty pale pink hues and scents of strawberry shortcake this wine was an instant showstopper. Lifted florals, red berry fruits, fresh nutty complexity and a pretty, pillowy texture made this a clear favourite from the onset. Our judges were well and truly seduced. ‘Very pretty and showing excellent presence, structure and length’ said James Rowan. Cameron (Douglas) agreed “Lovely yeast autolysis and a fine fruit bouquet and lush texture. Its beautifully balance and textural’”

We are thrilled to have received a gold medal for our RUA Pinot Rosé 2016 at this years prestigious Air New Zealand Wine Awards. In such a strong category with over 100 Rosé entries alone we are extremely proud to take away one of five gold medals. 

It has been a fantastic year for the team at Akarua, in particular for our Estate Akarua Pinot Noir. The 2014 vintage was awarded two trophies at the Six Nations Wine Challenge; the Pinot Noir Trophy and the overall Red Wine of Show Trophy. Announced at the awards ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday 5th October, Mark Naismith, our Vineyard Manager was in attendance to accept this great accolade.

The Six Nations Wine Challenge (representing the New World nations: Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and USA) is unique in its kind in which wines are submitted by invitation only and selected by six of the most influential voices in the world of wine including Huon Hooke and Bob Campbell MW.  

New Zealand wine certainly stood out in this competitive ceremony, winning Nation of Show and a total of seven classes claimed.

This is not the first time we have been presented with this award, winning the same trophy for our 2010 vintage at the 2012 ceremony. Huon Hooke, judge for the 2016 competition commented on the extraordinary achievement for us to have been bestowed this award for the second time.

Demonstrating the consistent high quality of our flagship wine our latest vintage - Akarua Pinot Noir 2015 was awarded the Negociants Champion Pinot Noir Trophy for the third consecutive year at the New Zealand International Wine Show 2016.

We are delighted to have been awarded five stars from Cuisine Magazine for their December Christmas edition 2016. Akarua Rose Brut NV was listed in their Top 5 category for the second year in a row. Tasting note to follow

Akarua was honored to receive the New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir Trophy for their 2015 Estate Pinot Noir at the NZ International Wine Show awards ceremony held on Saturday the 1st October in Auckland. This is the third consecutive year in which their pinot noir has been presented with the Champion Pinot Noir title at this competition, previously picking up the award for Akarua  Pinot Noir 2013 two years running in 2014 and 2015.

This is the first trophy for the recently released 2015 vintage of Akarua Pinot Noir. Akarua’s Estate-grown Bannockburn Pinot Noir has been awarded a trophy every year since 2009, significantly benchmarking their quality and success in the wine industry.

The New Zealand International Wine Show is one of NZ’s most prestigious wine competitions. The 2016 ceremony was chaired by Bob Campbell MW with assistant chief judges Huon Hooke, Larry McKenna, Peter Cowley and John Hancock.

Chief winemaker Andrew Keenleyside is thrilled by the news:

“To win three years in a row at one of New Zealand’s most esteemed wine shows is incredible! It reflects the continued hard graft put in by the whole team here at Akarua and the adherence to our core values - People, Pride, Family.”

Akarua Rosé Brut NV has been listed as No 5 out of the Top 10 Sparkling Wine Rosés in the world by The Drinks Business, a leading UK online and magazine publication focusing on the drinks trade

“An impressive sparkling find from New Zealand’s south island, Akarua’s Rosé Brut is a class act, with all the finesse and complexity of fine Champagne, but a bit more berry fruit from the sun-soaked vines of Central Otago. Made with the support of sparkling wine expert Dr Tony Jordan, Akarua is fast-becoming a benchmark New World fizz, whether it’s the blanc or rosé.”

The Wine Gang is a UK based website publishing some of the most in-depth and independent reports on hundreds of wines reviewed in the market.

We are delighted to have the following review:

 RUA Pinot Noir 201491 points

“Impressive Central Otago producer Akarua's cheapest wine is a succulent, accessible joy of a Pinot, its plump palate bursting with pure cherry, raspberry and strawberry juiciness but with wonderfully lithe and silky tannins and racy acidity. Uncomplicated drinking pleasure.”

Akarua Brut NV has been awarded a Gold Medal at the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition (formally known as the San Francisco International Wine Competition).  

The New York World Wine & Spirits Competition takes place in the heart of New York by expert Judges from across the USA including their head judge, Antony Dias Blue, editor of Tasting Panel Magazine.

We are delighted to achieve another Gold Medal for Akarua Brut NV, which has been awarded three Gold medals in the last two years.

Decanter magazine has awarded Akarua Pinot Noir 2104 with 92 points at their most recent New Zealand pinot noir tasting panel.

Judges’ comments are as follows:

“Attractive development on the nose. Unfolds to a plethora of summer pudding fruit flavours and a touch of savoury gaminess. Smooth as chiffon (drink 2016 to 2018).”

Decanter is a very well recognised wine magazine focusing on the wine and spirits industry.

Akarua Rose Brut NV has been awarded a GOLD Medal in one of Europe’s most prestigious wine competitions, the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships (CSWWC). Launched by Champagne and sparkling wine writer and author Tom Stevenson, with support and expertise from Essi Avellan MW and Dr Tony Jordan, the CSWWC is the first and only terroir-driven competition judged exclusively by internationally renowned champagne & sparkling wine experts. Only the very best are selected as winners, rejecting bronze and lower awards.

Akarua first released their Sparkling Wine range in February 2012. Since its release, Akarua Rose Brut NV has been awarded two trophies and seven gold medals, now including the recent gold at the CSWWC.

We are delighted to announce the following Gold and Silver Ribbons were awarded by Master of Wine Bob Campbell:

Akarua The Siren Pinot Noir 2013 – Gold, 97 points

“Flagship Pinot Noir selection of 13 barrels out of a total of 650. It certainly shows a great deal more concentration than the regular label with red-fleshed plum, floral, violet and a similar spice and thyme character. More oak gives an extra layer of chocolate-like richness. Surprisingly approachable now, although the wine will continue to give pleasure for a decade or more.”

 Akarua Pinot Gris 2015 – Silver, 92 Points

“Off-dry pinot gris with pear, citrus and mandarin flower flavours. A smooth textured wine, with fresh acidity helping to drive a lengthy finish. Appealing purity and length”

 RUA Pinot Gris 2015, Silver, 90 Points

Light, fresh, medium-dry pinot gris with nashi pear and apple flavours. A simple wine with appealing purity. An initial suggestion of sweetness is balanced nicely by fresh acidity to give a moderately drying finish. Good value at this price 

 Akarua Riesling 2015, Silver 91 Points

“A pretty Riesling with rose petal, citrus and a suggestion of chalky mineral flavour. An initial hint of sweetness is balanced by crisp acidity to give a drying finish while adding tension to the wine.”


These results have been published on Bob Campbell’s website

Akarua Vintage Brut 2011 has recently been awarded 90 points by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas. The results will be published in the July/August edition of The Shout NZ Magazine.

 The tasting results were as follows:

 “A lovely, fresh bouquet of citrus then stone fruits & grapefruit, white peach and red apple, medium autolysis and complexity, light toasty quality. On the palate – very lively on the palate with a full mousse, flavours of white peach and red apple, light leesy autolysis, smooth almost creamy texture, fine bubble and lengthy finish. Seems to be only just beginning to integrate, lengthy finish and well made.”

Renowned wine writer Michael Cooper has awarded Akarua Wines with two five stars for both their icon pinot noir The Siren 2013 and their flagship Akarua Pinot Noir 2014.

Tasting notes are as follows:

Akarua The Siren Pinot Noir 2013

“The second 2013 vintage (5*) of Akarua's top Pinot Noir was estate-grown and selected from 13 barrels out of 650. Deeply coloured, it has a highly perfumed, savoury bouquet. Powerful and densely packed, it is very sweet-fruited and finely textured, with concentrated, vibrant cherry, plum and spice flavours, fresh acidity and silky tannins. Already delicious, it should be long-lived; best drinking 2018+.”

Akarua Pinot Noir 2014

“The 2014 vintage (5*) is deep ruby, with an enticingly fragrant bouquet. Generous, vibrantly fruity and supple, it has fresh, concentrated, well-ripened cherry, plum, spice and dried herb flavours, showing excellent complexity, and a finely poised, lasting finish. Already delicious, it should be at its best 2018+.”

The Decanter World Wine Awards (UK) is internationally renowned for its rigorous judging process with Gold Medals being extremely hard won. We are delighted to announce not one but two Gold Medals for our RUA Pinot Noir 2014 & 2015.

This is the second time in the last few months RUA Pinot Noir has gained media attention. The Wine Merchant competition (UK) recently awarded RUA Pinot Noir 2014 in its top 100.

Bob Campbell, one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded wine writers, has selected Akarua The Siren Pinot Noir 2013 as wine of the week and awarded this wine with a staggering 97 points.

High points from Bob Campbell are extremely rare and hard won reflecting the sheer quality of The Siren 2013.

“Flagship pinot noir selection of 13 barrels out of a total of 650. It certainly shows a great deal more concentration than the regular label with red-fleshed plum, floral, violet and a similar spice and thyme character. More oak gives an extra layer of chocolate-like richness. Surprisingly approachable now, although the wine will continue to give pleasure for a decade or more.”

You can view the full review by clicking on the below link:

Wine NZ, one of New Zealand’s largest wine magazines have included a fantastic write up on Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 for their Autumn issue.  Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 was selected as the number one Pinot Noir for their Autumn tasting.  

Wine NZ is one of the leading wine information sources, promoting wineries, wines and travel to wine regions throughout New Zealand.

MS Cameron Douglas has rated our Akarua Pinot Noir 2014 with 90 points!

Our full review will be published in the April 2016 edition of The Shout NZ magazine.

Bob Campbell recently conducted a tasting for our wine portfolio. Several were selected for his highest ranking accolade, a Gold Ribbon.

The results were as follows:

Akarua Vintage Brut 2010

Gold Ribbon, 96 Points and 5 stars

A Pinot Noir dominant blend with Chardonnay that has spent three years on the lees. Weighty, textural wine with zesty acidity adding freshness and energy. This is a serious sparkler with attractive bready yeast autolysis complementing citrus fruit flavours. Lengthy wine with a bone-dry finish.

Akarua Pinot Rosé 2014

Gold Ribbon, 95 Points, 5 stars

“Pretty Rose with charming strawberry, raspberry and cherry flavours enhanced by a creamy texture. A hint of sweetness is fruity rather than sugary. The wine has a seductively lingering finish. Very attractive Rose indeed”

Akarua Pinot Noir 2013

Gold Ribbon, 95 Points, 5 stars

“A classic fruit bomb style with ripe plum, black cherry, vanilla and liquorice flavours. Big, flavoursome wine with a featherbed texture and enough support from ripe tannins to prevent any suggestion of jamminess”.

Akarua The Siren 2012

Gold Ribbon, 96 Points, 5 stars

“Only 185 cases made. 100% de-stemmed bunches (30% whole-bunch the following year) and a very light filtration has helped produce a dense, flavoursome Pinot Noir. I noted red and black cherry, spice/thyme, plum, violet and spicy French oak characters but i suspect the wine will offer even greater complexity in time. Elegance on a grand scale. Powerful wine showing a great deal of finesse”

Bob Campbell, the second New Zealander and is just one of 300 people in the world to hold the Master of Wine qualification. He is widely regarded as New Zealand’s foremost educator.

RUA Pinot Noir 2015 has been awarded 4 stars for Winestate Magazines' recent release tasting.

Judges’ comments were as follows:

“Designed for early drinking, this delicious pinot noir was matured for six months in French oak barriques (10% new).  Full, bright ruby, it is mouthfilling and buoyantly fruity, with fresh, strong plum/cherry flavours, spicy and nutty notes adding complexity, and a smooth, finely textured finish.”

RUA Pinot Noir 2015 was recently awarded a Double Gold at the China, Wine & Spirit Awards and 90 points by MS Cameron Douglas.

The month of February is National Rosé month, and our RUA Pinot Rosé 2015 has struck its first GOLD at the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2015. RUA Pinot Rosé has gained fantastic recognition over the last few months including 92 points from Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas and 5 stars from Wine NZ Magazine.

The Royal Easter Show Wine awards is one of New Zealand’s oldest national wine competitions.

Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas, 18th Feb 2016

“A bouquet loaded with ripe fresh red berry fruit aromas – raspberry, cherry, plum; mild oak and dry stone mineral add depth. On the palate – lots of energy, lots of fruit, lots of pinosity; flavours reflect the bouquet with red berry fruits and red apple skin, mild oak, fine to moderate tannins and plenty of acidity. Balanced, fresh, oozing personality with a fairly lengthy finish”.

 90 Points

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