“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 sites 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, Proprietor
The Fusilier Vineyard is named in honor of Sam’s father, Major Dermot Neill, a soldier in the Royal Irish Fusilier Regiment for twenty years before returning home to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he ran the family Wine & Spirit business, Neill & Co. Planted entirely in 2000, The Fusilier is 5.6 hectares of pinot noir, on rolling northerly facing terraces at the western end of Felton Rd and bordered by the vineyard of the same name. Soils on the terraces consist of deep alluvial fans, which are made up of varying depths of silt, sand and gravel layering all derived from mountainous raw schist parent material.
A dry cold 2019 winter continued into a dry spring that was dominated some severe wind and snow events. The critical flowering month of December was still relatively cool and experienced 50mm of rain over three days. As a result, flowering was both late and drawn out. Finally, the summer heat arrived in mid-January and lasted until mid-March but the critical cell division stage for the berries was also cool and along with the challenging conditions at flowering, resulted in crop levels being 30-40% down in many of the vineyard blocks.
There were two pieces of very good news though – the smaller bunches and small berries were much easier for the vines to fully ripen in late summer and ultimately resulted in densely coloured, aromatic wines. 2020 harvest was also one of the most compact that Two Paddocks has seen starting on the 6th of April and all done by the 24th April. The Fusilier was harvested on the 16th April.
|Up to 10 years
Sale of Liquor License Ref: OF129
Licence No. 67/OFF/30/2022
Expires 24th August 2025