Wild Hare Vineyard - Gibbston - Central Otago.
Wine of New Zealand
Ripe plum and briar mingle with blackberry, coffee and dark chocolate to produce a rich Pinot Noir.
With only 100 cases produced each year, our Pinot Rosé is perfect for summer foods or light lunches.
Includes 3 different clones with each contributing unique elements to the overall balance and structure of our rich and elegant wines.
Our high altitudes give us unusual opportunities to succeed with the world's most sensitive red wine grape.
In 1999, Terry and Susan Stevens decided to buy a vineyard in Gibbston. Like most visitors, they came to New Zealand for the spectacular landscape and to enjoy the world-renowned Great Walks. Unlike most visitors, they were compelled to stay.
Despite its rugged beauty, Gibbston was once considered so overrun with rabbits that it wasn’t much use for farming at all. Then in 1981, another immigrant, Alan Brady planted the first grapevines. Alan’s friends thought he was mad. Conventional wisdom was that grapes wouldn’t grow this far south. Even so, Alan’s early efforts caught the attention of other wine pioneers and a fledgling wine community was born in a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration that continues today.
Our high altitudes give us unusual opportunities to succeed with the world's most sensitive red wine grape. The dry atmosphere means few problems with the fungal diseases that can plague Pinot Noir. Temperatures are sufficiently low (especially at night) to give Pinot the extended growing season that it needs. This is particularly true in Gibbston where our long hang times allow the fruit to develop greater complexity. Many fine wines are blended from land holdings in the various sub-regions of Central Otago, but single estate wines like Wild Hare remain rare. This small home block of 1,480 vines grows on a gently sloping, north facing hillside in the heart of the Gibbston sub-region.
The Wild Hare vineyard includes 3 different clones with each contributing unique elements to the overall balance and structure of our rich and elegant wines. All pruning, thinning, leaf plucking, and picking is done by hand. We crop the vines at 4 tonnes/ha for small yields, but impressive ripeness and concentration. Intense sun gives the wine the brilliant colour and exuberant fruit characters like cherry, mulberry, and plum for which Central is now internationally known. Seasonal breezes bring fragrances of wild thyme and violets from farther up the valley and the soils of schist alluvial loam add a lingering aromatic spice.
Terry manages the vineyard and our loyal and now highly experienced cadre of friends help with harvest. They carefully select only the grapes, which they feel, will make a great bottle of Wild Hare Pinot Noir -- one that they themselves would like to drink. Locally, Wild Hare has developed a reputation for our hospitality, as well as our Pinot. What better way to compare notes than around the dining table?
We offer two high quality wines. The Pinot Noir and the Pinot Rosé.
Our wine is sold at Arrowtown Wine Store on Ramshaw Lane, fine restaurants throughout New Zealand and on-line.
Many fine wines are blended from vineyards in the various sub-regions of Central Otago, but single estate wines like Wild Hare remain rare.
Our tiny, hillside vineyard gets excellent exposure to the vibrant Central Otago sun for optimum ripeness and the vines are reaching an age to add even greater complexity to this rich and elegant wine.
Sean Brennan, winemaker, has crafted a smooth yet powerful wine. Ripe plum and dusty briar on the nose mingle with blackberry, coffee and dark chocolate on the palate. Rich purity of fruit, savoury cinnamon notes and fine minerality showcase the finesse of Gibbston grown fruit. Firm yet silky tannins carry the wine through a persistent, elegant finish..
Pinots from the Gibbston sub-region are consistently among New Zealand’s most awarded, but with annual production of less than 200 cases of Wild Hare, we don't enter competitions.
We’d rather save the wine for those, who like us, have been seduced by the pleasures of Wild Hare.
Leveret is French for young hare. We only began producing a rose’ in 2012. After experiencing excellent rose’ wines in Provence, we believed it was possible to make a Wild Hare Rose that would improve on many of the local rose’s.
We followed the same meticulous viticulture used for our pinot noir and took no short-cuts. Much to the delight of our customers, we were able to produce a wine that was dry in style and delivered on flavour.
We only produce 100 cases annually which always sell out before the summer ends. At first, the rose’ was primarily consumed in the summer, but each year its appeal widens due to its versatility.
It is perfectly suited for drinking on its own, yet it has enough body to stand up to a variety of summer foods. Enjoy it with pizza!
The 2017 Wild Hare Leveret Rose’ was produced by the much-awarded Pete Bartle. He is credited as the winemaker for the only two rose’ wines to win Gold medals at the Air New Zealand Wine Show. Like our Pinot Noir, we do not enter shows with the rose’, but prefer to let our customers give us the Gold.
We have received favourable reviews and testimonials about our wines.
"Just had to tell you I opened a bottle of Wild Hare 2012 a couple of nights ago. Stunning. Made me homesick for Gibbston! At six years its a big vibrant wine with very intense colour and mouth filling plummy, spiced fruit. It’s stylishly elegant,layered with interest including the lovely herbal notes I remember from that vineyard. It’s got years to go and I thought Sean did a really nice job."
"Pure, bright enticing black cherry colour. Quintessential Gibbston Valley on the nose with black cherry, wild thyme and scents of the herb garden and old fashioned roses. Energetic, alive palate, refreshing is the first word that comes to mind with delicious fresh cherry and leafy herbs to the fore, quite supple with a hint of black olive and dry earth tannin on the finish. Perfect with lamb with a savoury herb crust and would work with oily fish such as tuna with olive tapenade."
"Bright raspberry infused rose water colour, absolutely on the button. Lovely open strawberry shortcake aromas, all delicious and summery. Succulent relatively rich palate, summer fruit salad feel to it with some some wild thyme a fresh apple notes providing freshness and energy, finishing dry. A great summer drink however the dry richness means it will handle some reasonably weighty food, I am thinking salmon and duck salad like dishes"
"Wild Hare is more than just a great Gibbston wine. The Wild Hare success is a reflection of its owners, Terry and Susan, and their passion, commitment, generosity, and love of fun, and happy times. Wild Hare is a brand about people. From the family of pickers who harvest the grapes, to the celebration harvest lunch where wine and good fellowship flow. The people and brand in harmony. Quality, and taste in the bottle is the HERO. Great memories make for the WILD HARE WAY."
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