At Amisfield, we let nature take its course. With Amisfield’s location, nestled beneath the dramatic Pisa mountain range formed over two million years ago, we think it was nature’s intention.
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This stunning yet unforgiving high country presents its challenges. Amisfield founder John Darby – spurred on by fond memories of childhood holidays in Central Otago – was determined to master the harsh elements.
By the late 1980s, he was convinced that this dramatic landscape presented the perfect conditions for cool-climate viticulture. After an exhaustive search, he discovered Amisfield Farm, formerly a merino sheep station. The first vines were planted in 1999. Nearing two decades on, they continue to thrive in these unrelenting conditions. With the team now spanning generations, it’s clear that like the mountains that surround it, Amisfield will be here for some time to come.
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Shaped by the land, crafted by hand
The rugged inland location affords a semi-continental climate with exceptionally cold winters, hot summers, cool evenings and low rainfall.
At Amisfield, we are unrelenting in our pursuit to extract the true character of this unique terroir, because we believe there is privilege in the process. We are caretakers of this land.
Amisfield is currently in conversion to full organic certification with New Zealand’s leading body, BioGro. With help and advice from one of New Zealand’s leading organic viticultural consultants, we are implementing organic grape-growing strategies across our Estate in stages. This step-by-step conversion strategy is designed so we gain an understanding of the best practices, techniques and responses as we convert to organics.
Amisfield is committed to sustainability at every step of our process. And we are constantly in search of a better way. For if we are to continue for generations to come, we believe we must respect nature’s way.
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Designed by Christchurch architect Charlie Nott, Amisfield's winery was built in 2006. With its distinctive sloping roof echoing the mountains behind it, this two-level facility blends seamlessly with its surroundings. Yet its form is of pure function.
With a 600-tonne production capacity, our winemakers perform their craft as efficiently as possible. But with our ‘hands off’ approach of doing as little as possible, we do our best to let the wine take its time.
'The exterior is modern and dramatic, yet well suited to its rustic site under the Pisa mountain range.'
— Urbis Magazine
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Wine as pure as the place itself
Amisfield Vineyard was formed around a simple philosophy: to nurture nature at every step. With its location, nestled within the harsh yet beautiful surrounds of Central Otago, New Zealand, we prefer to let the unique terroir and the natural talents of our skilled team do the work.
Our process of doing as little as possible can be a painstaking one. But the rewards are worth the effort: wines as unique and pure as the place itself. At Amisfield, it’s less about what we do, and more about what we don’t. Our hands-off approach means that making wine takes time. With the vineyard surrounded by 2 million year-old mountains, it’s not as if nature is in any hurry either.
At Amisfield, we believe you ought to be able to taste this terroir, no matter how far you’re from it. Whether you’re tasting our wine from the comfort of our Bistro, or opening a bottle halfway around the world.
With exceptionally cold winters, hot summers, cool evenings and low rainfall, the unforgiving environs of Amisfield do nothing but enhance the character of the wine. Glacially derived gravel-driven soils, a north-facing aspect and shelter from the most extreme winds yield remarkable purity, intensity and vibrancy.
In our single estate vineyard, nuances in geography, weather and soils produce different characteristics of more than mere fruit. One taste and you’ll discover a different message from our place in every bottle of Amisfield.