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2018 The First Paddock Pinot Noir

About the wine

“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our four small Vineyards in Central Otago. In some exceptional vintages, listening carefully, we realize that one of these may have something extraordinary to say in its own right. It is only then that we will make one of these very rare single vineyard wines.”  Sam Neill, Founder & Proprietor

 The First Paddock is our original much loved Two Paddocks vineyard. Planted in 1993, it is now one of the older blocks in Central Otago. Superbly situated in the midst of upper Gibbston, planted in carefully selected Burgundian clone pinot noir vines and meticulously tended. Soils foundations are derived from the surrounding mountainous schist and windblown loess but higher rainfalls over the millennia have resulted in increased fertility in these blocks. First Paddock is a thoughtfully crafted expression of our foundation site.



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Tasting Notes

Vintage Comment:

Two Paddocks 2018 harvest will be remembered as the earliest picking date on record. A warm spring that quickly turned in to a hot summer with much warmer night time temperatures than are typically experienced in Alexandra. Ideal conditions over flowering, which was a month early, began on the 20th November. Again, perfect growing conditions meant veraison also began a month early on the 20th January and then the extreme heat and dry finished abruptly on the 1st February. Cooler temperatures over February / March thankfully slowed ripening down and intensified flavour development, but harvest still began nearly a month earlier than typical on the 14th March and was over by the 11th April. Both the grapes and stems were beautifully ripe, intensely flavoured and in perfect health.

Mike Wing, Viticulturist (Since 2009)

Winemakers Notes:

Sourced from the first twenty-five rows of Clone 5, which was planted in Gibbston at The First Paddock vineyard in 1993.  Hand harvested and sorted then a 50% whole bunch indigenous ferment in a dedicated First Paddock French oak cuve. Matured in 30% new French oak with the balance in older wood for an extended 14 months of barrel maturation.

 “The wine shows great vibrant red fruit and spicy characters, followed by a lithe elegant mouthfeel showing brightness, texture and depth.”


To download tasting note click here

Dean Shaw, Two Paddocks Winemaker (Since 1999)

pH  3.62                                    TA   6.0 g/L                             Alc  13.50%

Proprietor: Sam Neill                    Viticulturist: Mike Wing   Winemaker: Dean Shaw

Bottled: February 2019                 Total Production: 188 doz     


Cellaring: Up to 12 years

Two Paddocks First Paddock 1500 x 1500



Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
2021 Vinous Media - Rebecca Gibb MW Dec 2020 95 points

Drinking Window: 2021-2030

There's a transparency to Gibbston fruit and a floaty-light impression that you don't get in other sub-regions of Central Otago, and here it's in full effect.  Yet the texture is silken and there's plenty of density and excellent ripeness. 

Despite the earliest harvest on record and a warm season, Gibbston's marginal climate ensures the acidity rip-roars through the wine like a water race.  The tannins are comforting in their seamless, mouthcoating texture.

A joy to drink. Nick Stock Contributing Editor Dec 2020 97 points

“There’s a sweetly smoky edge to this sappy and wildly fresh pinot that has attractive wild herbs, as well as a swirling array of rose flowers, blueberries, cherries and spices. The palate has exceptional polish and deeply layered fruit tannin, glazed with spicy oak nuances and holding long, fresh and silky. From organically grown grapes.”

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit Jan 2020 96 points

Magnificently elegant and stylish, this stunning beauty shows dark cherry, plum, dried herb, olive and toasted almond characters on the nose with nuances of mushroom and floral. The palate delivers splendid weight and expansive mouthfeel, wonderfully enhanced by seductive spicy notes and polished tannins. Superbly refined and engaging with potential to develop graciously. From their Gibbston Vineyard. At its best: now to 2030. Certified organic. $95.00. Jan 2020.