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- Central Otago Wines -


Announcing our latest release.

Here's what Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas had to say:

"Waitiri Chardonnay 2022- with a touch of wood smoke. The lovely weight and texture touch the palate first, followed by the flavours of baking spices and peach, apple, and citrus. Wood smoke and mineral, medium+ acid line and length. This is a lovely example ready for drinking from mid to late 2024 through 2029.

93 Points


To secure your order of this brand-new release,
click the link below!

Our beautiful Gibbston Valley terroir is perfect for growing Pinot Noir grapes. We use environmentally sustainable practices in our winemaking, including handpicking our grapes.
Waitiri April 2022 024.JPG


Central Otago Pinot Noir is world renowned. 
And our family was one of the pioneers of this exceptional wine. Waitiri Creek's Shanagolden vineyard in Gibbston Valley has been producing Pinot Noir grapes for many years now, planted by the Ward family and harvested by hand ever since. 

Waitiri Creek isn’t just another commercial Central Otago winery. It’s family owned and harvested, a labour of love created by some real pioneers – the Ward family. We were among the early settlers in New Zealand, arriving at the bottom of the South Island in 1875, so we’ve been here a while.


The Gold Rush era saw a wave of settlers, like our ancestors, ready to endure the harsh conditions in hope of making it rich. Farmers and sawmillers like the Ward family arrived ready to work the land to begin a better life.


A century later and we didn't strike literal gold, but take one sip of our wines and you'll know what we've created is even better. We’ve been part of this area for so long, we’re practically part of the scenery.


Over the years we’ve been joined by others, from Gibbston Valley Winery and Chard Farm, to Peregrine, Mount Rosa and Coalpit more recently – to name a few. It’s no surprise that our little neck of the woods is known as the ‘Valley of Wines’!


From our beautiful home in the Gibbston Valley, Central Otago, the Ward family proudly bring you a range of award-winning wines:


Pinot Noir  |  Pinot Gris  |  Chardonnay

Rose – ‘Harriet Rose’  |  Sauvignon Blanc – ‘Stella’  |  Gewurztraminer


We don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but Waitiri Creek have managed to collect tremendous accolades over the years: NZ’s Royal Easter Show, Bragato Wine Awards, Top 100 International Wine competitions, NZ Wine Society and Air New Zealand Wine Awards.


While we were thrilled to be recognised by the best in the industry, after a while it was time to shift focus. We have stopped entering competitions and we like to think our wine has only improved as a result.

Waitiri April 2022 002.JPG


“Waitiri Creek’s unique landholding gives us the ability to harvest grape varietals perfectly selected for the area’s specific growing conditions. We love this aspect of our work – it is like manicuring the vines for the best result. With the benefit of great grape growing days and despite climatic extremes, our Gibbston-true philosophy has always been to focus on bringing the best grapes to  the vintners table, no matter what the weather Gods throw at us.”

-Alistair Ward


Our vineyard blocks are planted with grape varieties /cultivars uniquely matched to the Gibbston micro climate. The advanced skill of matching grape cultivar to land and climate is known as ‘terroir mapping’ and is a more recent innovation for New Zealand’s wine industry – and something we’re excited to be a part of.


This practice of utilising the interplay between soils and climate has really paved the way for others to follow. Innovation is important to us and our family is committed to best practice. We’ve also phased out the ‘bare earth’ policy of vineyard floor management, in favour of inter-row planting a range of cover crops. This assists in the control of vine vigour, simultaneously improving soil health and general biodiversity. We’re also a member of the handpicked club, still picking grapes by hand to achieve maximum quality - just as we’ve always done.


In general the soil profile of Waitiri Creek soils is 400 – 500mm of wind- blown glacial deposits on 4 – 5 metres of free draining alluvial schist. Our vineyards are between 300 – 350 metres above sea level.

About us



General Manager


A strong reputation in the corporate world has provided a sound base for Alistair’s work with Waitiri Creek. Alistair masterminds the vineyard’s development, provides governance expertise and drives new opportunities. He also works as a director on several Boards and is sought after for his merger and acquisition capabilities.


Many of his corporate clients are now loyal Waitiri Creek customers who appreciate the expertise of someone who knows what it takes to get to the top.


Senior Winemaker


Pip Battley is rapidly establishing herself as a recognised winemaker, known for being intuitive, dynamic and innovative with consistent successes achieved in competition. Born and raised on a farm in North Auckland, Pip’s desire for travel and a passion for Pinot Noir, has taken her from Martinborough and Central Otago to Oregon, Burgundy and Chablis, Nelson and South Australia. In 2017, Pip returned to NZ and was appointed Winemaker at VinPro, due to her confidence, reliability and aptitude for the role she quickly progressed to Senior Winemaker in 2019.


Pip believes in letting the wine speak for itself with just a little guidance along the way, she strives to bring out the qualities unique to the vineyard, gently tailoring the wine with minimal interference.


Pip says - "My first vintage with Waitiri Creek was in 2019 and I really enjoyed making Rose and Pinot Noir from this block. I look forward to getting to know the vineyard even more and seeing how the vines and wines develop."

Over the years Waitiri Creek have won global awards including from NZ’s Royal Easter Show, Bragato Wine Awards, Top 100 International Wine competitions, NZ Wine Society and Air New Zealand Wine Awards.


 Please note we no longer operate the Church Cellar Door -
for all bookings and enquiries, please call 04 441 3315

Wine Sales: or call 021 240 2988

Email us here for sales and enquiries.

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