A way with Awatere - O:TU wines from Marlborough, New Zealand

by Georgia De Biasi
in Winemakers, Wines
16 Oct 2018  |  0 Comments

First things first! How do you say O:TU? Like this: “Or two” as in, “Would you like a glass or two of this lovely single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc?”

Welcoming this new member of the Single Vineyards family, O:TU is a winery that brings together a small group of passionate people drawn from around the world of wine. With the guiding hand of an expert winegrowing team, the winery works hard across the seasons to offer the world wines to express their Awatere, Marlborough origins. Their Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc consistently scores gold and silver medals from wine critics.

The name O:TU stems from Otuwhero (say 'ortu-fairo') – the name of the river that runs beside several of the vineyard blocks in the lower Awatere Valley. It’s referred to in English as Blind River because it’s spring-fed and “appears” about 8km east of the winery. O:TU can also be interpreted as a genial way to say “hey, you”, which Maori use to call attention and isn’t impolite.

It’s a wide and open exposed area in Awatere: as well as the river, the winery's six vineyards front the Pacific Ocean to the east and experience a ruggedly cold and windy climate. 

Paul McIntyre runs the vineyards with a team of dedicated staff. He’s Marlborough through and through, and has decades of experience with vineyard management in the district. Now including Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, the vineyards were originally planted with 100% Sauvignon Blanc when the current vineyard owners arrived in 2008. 

The O:TU winegrowing team is headed by winemaker Jan Kux, who studied at Geisenheim, Germany and Bordeaux, France, and now has over twenty years of experience in wine making and vineyard management. In addition to his winemaking skills, Jan’s a qualified sommelier, a member of the GESCO Society for the sciences and development of viticulture and an active member in the German Sommelier Association. Based in Switzerland with his wife and two children, Jan calls New Zealand home for half of the year with his role in O:TU. He says “The Awatere Valley vineyard terroir is outstanding, producing fruit that has bold flavour even by Marlborough standards. Our vision is to take that fruit and craft bold, distinctive wines, using the Old World winemaking techniques I have learned at some of the great vineyards of Europe.”

We’re pretty chuffed to be working with this great winemaking team and are looking forward to sharing more of their great wines with you.

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