Moko Hills 2020 Pinot Noir


This was the inaugural vintage for Moko Hills and it sure was a year to remember. A wet, cold and windy spring introduced the growing season, continuing through to our key flowering and fruit set periods in October and December – impacting yields, bunch structure and berry size.

Disturbed weather patterns continued through the season, settling in February – The calm before the ‘Storm’. Just before the Central Otago region was set for harvest, Covid-19 hit the world!

The fruit was hand harvested under the strictest of Covid-19 conditions on the morning of April 8th 2020. Thanks to the cool flowering period and low disease pressure, bunches were clean and contained small berries bursting with concentrated flavours.

Wine Making

The fruit contained an even mix of three Pinot Noir clones – 777, 115 & UCD5. Fruit was spilt evenly into two fermenters – one containing 70% whole bunch, the other 100% de-stemmed. Fermented with natural yeast.

Gentle winemaking techniques were used to avoid excessive extraction. 23 days on skin, pressed to 100% French oak barrels – 15% New. 12 months in barrel, and allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation naturally in spring, before being racked and allowed to naturally settle and integrate in tank.

Unfined and unfiltered
Hand-harvested: 8th April 2020
Bottled: 8th June 2021
pH: 3.69
TA: 5.6g/L
Alcohol: 13.64% v/v

The Label

Kawarau Gecko – Pinot Noir

Each wine has a unique art piece, representing a group of species that embody the encapsulated characteristics of the wine. A homage to these species and a promise of protection.

The Pinot Noir label is encapsulated with the Kawarau Gecko (Woodworthia “Cromwell”). Representing the true soul of Moko Hills – the tie between the earth below and what we see above. The Mokomoko | Kawarau Gecko can often be seen basking on the warm schist outcrops during the peak of summer.

The Kawarau Gecko is accompanied by Korokia (Corokia cotoneaster), a divaricating shrub found throughout the schist outcrops along the slopes of Moko Hills. Korokia has spring blooms of small fragrant yellow flowers followed by yellow-orange berries in late summer. Both these are depicted on the Pinot Noir label, signifying the transition and importance of each season. Korokia fruit is a valuable food source for Mokomoko | Lizards, and its zig-zag structure acts as a safe refuge.

Send us an email if you would like to get your hands on a bottle or two.


Artwork created by the talented Rachel Walker | Walkerillo