Hospitality Business Magazine

Judge Rock Vineyard takes home prestigious trophies

rsz_judge_rock_winesCentral Otago’s Judge Rock has won the Pinot Noir Trophy and the Red Wine of the Show Trophy at the prestigious Australia & New Zealand Boutique Wine Show.

Judge Rock is a small family boutique wine producer in Alexandra Central Otago owned by Paul and Angela Jacobson. Producing wine since 2002, and with a consistent record of gold medals from Decanter and Air New Zealand Wine Awards, this achievement confirms the outstanding quality of Judge Rock Pinot Noir.

A boutique wine company is defined as one that processes less than 250 ton annually under its own label and is owned independently. Angela Jacobson, owner and marketing manager at Judge Rock says: “We are one of the world’s smallest vineyards from the most southerly wine growing region of the world, with just four hectares of vines and an annual tonnage of around 18 ton.  We are so small we are almost invisible – we are the Higgs Boson of world Pinot Noir!  – but our 4ha vineyard has proven its ability to consistently make great Pinot Noir. Our 2012 Decanter gold medal Pinot Noir is currently exported to the UK and we have exported wines to China, Hong Kong and Australia.”

You may well ask how does an ex-guidance counsellor and a civil engineer produce such amazing wine? “Firstly, we read every viticultural and winemaking book we could find, learnt from the best New Zealand Pinot Noir producers, and made wine in Burgundy under the Central Otago Winegrowers exchange,” says Jacobson. “We have total hands-on quality control of our vines, ensuring that only the finest quality grapes are harvested for our skilled contract winemaking team. As a small producer with a very limited budget marketing has always been our greatest challenge though, so winning these trophies will be a significant boost to our national and international profile.”

The 2014 Pinot Noir is yet to be released in New Zealand or Australia.