AWCO Members


ElleroJohn and Roberta are wine industry veterans that left California and Oregon for the Cromwell Basin of Central Otago over a dozen years ago, convinced there was potential to make great wine from their unique parcel of land, particularly Pinot Noir, and wanting to be fully involved from the beginning. Just as Ellero is a composite of their surnames, Manell and Montero, the wines they make are a fusion of their lifelong history in the wine business, their choices, a hands-on approach and commitment to their vineyard and winemaking. They desire to make authentic wines, and farm their land organically (BioGro certified), working hard in the vineyard to deliver expressive grapes, striving for a balance of fruit vibrancy, spice and savoury in their wines.

Georgetown Vineyard

ElleroGeorgetown Vineyard is owned and run by Ian and Marianne Dee. It is planted with very close rows and pruned low to the ground. The same sort of thing as in Burgundy. Everything is hand tended by Ian and Marianne and organic methods are used. There is no chateau, instead there is an old miners hut open in summer for wine tasting. “Being as small as we are (1.4Ha) enables us to really focus on every square metre of our little pocket of Central Otago. It’s from these little pockets that the quality individual wines come. That’s what I think a big part of artisan wine is about.”

Lindis River

Lindis RiverFrom the search of a suitable hillside property to planting the first vines in 2000, Lindis River has always been about one wine: Pinot Noir. This single minded focus allowed us to establish a vineyard in the old world fashion with a new world approach. Vines are closely planted, tended by hand and the wines are carefully crafted in the winery. The result are wines that speak from the vineyard with their elegance and minerality.

Lowburn Ferry

Lowburn FerryLowburn Ferry Vineyard, best known for its “Home Block” Pinot Noir wines, is established on sheltered terraces beneath the Pisa Range. Roger and Jean Gibson planted the first grapes in 2000 on their 4ha site, and have since built a reputation for high quality and award-winning wines. Glacial terraces are a distinctive feature of the landscape surrounding Lowburn Ferry, an early settler’s crossing point over the Clutha River near Cromwell. Lowburn Ferry’s soils are of particular importance in expressing the special “terroir” that sets this vineyard apart, says soil scientist Roger. “At Lowburn Ferry vineyard, the cultural history of the soils since the gold rush days have built up the organic matter and soil life, underpinning the production of some of New Zealand’s finest pinot noir wines”, he says.

Maori Point

Maori PointMarilyn Duxson and John Harris planted their vineyard in 2002 on the bank of the Clutha river at Tarras, transforming a bare rabbit-ridden desert into vineyard and parkland. Mulching and watering has transformed the soil, and vine roots extend deep into ancient river gravels to find their minerals and nutrients. We harvest our grapes in small batches directly into the fermenters so that each part of the vineyard is treated individually, selecting grapes at optimal ripeness. Our site produces grapes with a big tannin structure, and wines with minerality and spice as well as rich fruit flavours. The vines are planted in five blocks, separated by rows of native plants selected to restore vegetation native to the region from a time before burning off by moa hunters and desertification by a plague of rabbits. These plants are home to beneficial insects such as small wasps and ladybirds who protect the vines from introduced insect pests. They also are
over-wintering sites for the wine yeasts which come in with the grapes and support our natural
ferments, so the the wines truly represent the terroir.


TOSQSue and Carl Thompson established their family owned vineyards in 2001 on two adjoining sites in the Pisa district, Central Otago. We manage the vineyards with natural methods, using composts, liquid teas and seaweed to feed the biology in the soils. It is a continuing process – learning to understand the sites, following the seasons, nurturing the vines with a gentle hand.  It is endlessly fascinating, at times demanding, but ultimately rewarding (Our two teenage boys would probably just agree with the middle one). For us, nothing beats the harvest days, when we see the year’s hard work safely gathered in. It’s a pleasure we can share. Beautiful fruit turned into fine and elegant wine.  The soil, the weather,  the hard work, the stunning environment – a reflection of the season in the glass.