Cuvée aux Antipodes Pinot Noir is the extraordinary result of a collaboration between two winemakers, Paul Pujol of Central Otago's Prophet's Rock, and François Millet of Burgundy's Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüè in the village of Chambolle-Musigny. It began when Pujol worked the vintage at de Vogüé in 2009. The two men became friends and François’ son Julien worked at Prophet’s Rock in 2013.
Millet himself also visited Prophet's Rock in 2013 and the idea for Cuvée aux Antipodes was born. He returned for the inaugural 2015 vintage and selected a small parcel of grapes from the highest part of Prophet's Rock Home Vineyard, at 400m one of the highest sites in Central Otago. ‘Any higher and it’s too cold’, says Pujol.
Millet goes to Central Otago twice a year and personally oversees both vinification and bottling. ‘He digs out the tank, he plunges it once, I send him bottles of wine so he can follow its progress’, says Pujol. Racking is done using a special air pump which Millet brought from France. The wine is very lightly extracted during fermentation and spends 17 months in barrel, longer than other Prophet’s Rock wines.
The annual make is slightly less than 300 dozen, of which the Australian allocation is about 30 dozen each year.
Central Otago, located at the southern end of the South Island of New Zealand, is the world’s most southerly wine region. In a short amount of time, the area has established itself as a world-class region for Pinot Noir. The picturesque region is surrounded by mountains ensuring a cool semi-continental climate that experiences a large diurnal range contributing to the creation of intensely concentrated wines with perfume, and complexity. Central Otago’s vineyard area is divided into six distinct sub regions each with their own climate and wine style. Best known for producing intensely Fruity medium to full bodied Pinot Noir, Central Otago’s cool climate also produces outstanding Riesling as well as superb bottle-fermented Sparkling wines.