The Akarua Winery

Barrels Akarua's modern winery is sited beside its vineyard blocks on Cairnmuir Road, in Bannockburn. It was designed and built in 1999 to handle 300 tonnes of fruit with all the necessary equipment to ensure a no-compromise approach to winemaking. This is possibly the greatest quality attribute that the Akarua winery possesses - the ability to take the entire vineyard harvest in under the one roof at the same time and process it without fear or pressure of tank space shortage. Effectively this means that the wines spend as long as they need in tank without being moved into barrels in a rush to make way for further grapes. There are very few wineries in the country that possess this type of luxury for the winemaking team. This means that critical decisions are always based on the best wine quality outcome rather than juggling the logistics of tank space.

Winery Matt on forklift The original winery design acknowledged the special requirements that Pinot Noir grapes demand of winemakers. It is equipped with a range of state of the art open-top and closed stainless steel fermenters that have been specially tailored to ensure optimum extraction of grape character or flavour. Three hydraulic plungers have also been added to the red fermentation area to ensure that the multiple plunging Pinot Noir requires each day, becomes a relatively easy process. The refrigeration system provides the winemaking team with the ability to maintain control over the temperature of tanks and the winery throughout the whole year. Two separate barrel rooms, a red barrel room and a white barrel room, have been custom built to ensure the temperature is controlled to reflect the optimum conditions for both barrel fermentation and maturation for both red and white wines. In addition, we take special care in ensuring that humidity is maintained appropriately, especially with the very dry conditions that predominate in Central Otago.

Winery, vintage, taking temp of Pinot Noir ferment Over vintage, usually April / May, in addition to Akarua's highly capable full time winemaking team including Winemaker Andrew Keenleyside and cellar-hand Emma Saunders, a number of budding young winemakers from both New Zealand and throughout the globe join the Akarua winemaking team to help with the intense 6-8 weeks of vintage work. It's a work hard, play hard culture that is invaluable for the team at Akarua and also adds to the knowledge base of the young winemakers. Complimenting the modern and traditional winemaking facility is the well-equipped laboratory that provides for a range of quality assurance tests to be carried out on site. 



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(Sorry it's the law)