Immigrant's Vineyard comprises of 19ha of land, with 16ha planted in mainly Pinot Noir grapes and 4ha of Pinot Gris, plus a small amount of Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay.
Our soils are sandy and loamy, typical of Central Otago, but we take care not to let the vines get too stressed out. As accredited Sustainable Winegrowers, we’re following sustainable practices to look after the health of our vines and to increase the organic matter in our soils, such as applying fish fertilizers and seaweed. Every second row is sown with phacelia, blue lupin, plantain, tic beans, buckwheat and white oats. In the winter, after harvest, we have sheep looking after the vineyard, assisting us in improving our soils.
From 2015 we started to produce wines under the Ruru label. Our yields are low, and the hand-picked grapes are made into beautiful wines with the help of winemaker Antony Worch of Alexandra Vintners.
We grow and produce:
- Ruru Pinot Noir
- Ruru Pinot Gris
- Ruru Rosé (100% Pinot Noir)
- Ruru Chardonnay
- Ruru Gewürztraminer
Occasionally we purchase fruit from other local vineyards to add variety to our mix. Currently, we also produce a Ruru Riesling and Ruru Merlot.
We are happy our hard work is paying off, with wine reviews consistently above 90/100 points across the range. Our wines have also won numerous awards, including a Gold Medal in the New World Wine Awards, a Gold Medal in the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and a Silver in Decanter World Wine Awards.
The policy for all the wines is a very soft press (between 55-65%) and to have minimal interference in the fermentation and maturation processes. Our Rosé, made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, is cold soaked for 24 hours to create a pale pink colour. The Pinot Gris is pressed at 55% and partly fermented in oak and left on its lees. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are pressed at 65% and matured for 10-12 month in French oak barrels, 10-20% of which are new.
Overlooking the Clutha River and Old Man Range, Immigrant's Vineyard is one of the most southern vineyards in the world, exactly in between the Central Otago towns of Alexandra and Clyde.
The Alexandra basin is renowned for warm days followed by cool nights, contributing to the intense flavours, colour and structure of our wines. The grapes ripen much slower, retaining more acidity. However, even in summer, it is not unusual to have frosts during the growing season, resulting in the need for frost fighting to protect our valuable crop.
Harvest happens much later too, usually at the end of April to early May. This creates another challenge, when birds come down into the valley in search for food. To protect the ripening berries, from the end of February until harvest, the whole vineyard is covered in nets.