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Suggested food matches:

Roast beef

Roast duck


Seared tuna

Roasted butternut squash

Truffle pasta

Try it with:

Five-spice honey and duck satay skewers

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Burn Cottage Moonlight Race Pinot Noir 2016

Central Otago, New Zealand

Grape: 100% Pinot Noir

About Producer: 

Burn Cottage refers to the name of the road on which this 28 hectare property sits in Central Otago. The estate was once a sheep paddock until it was purchased by Marquis Sauvage in 2002. Marquis enlisted Ted Lemon of Sonoma Coast’s famous Littorai as their winemaker and together they decided to plant Pinot Noir in 2003. Six years later, they released their first wine. In order to select the best sites for their Pinot Noir, they dug 60 soil pits and subsequently selected ten clones to plant on five different rootstocks tailored to the different soil profiles. Burn Cottage is distinguished in Central Otago as the first and only estate in the region to have practised biodynamics since day one. This was Ted Lemon's one stipulation for his involvement. 


Central Otago is a geographic indication in New Zealand's South Island, and the world's southernmost commercial wine growing region. It is best known for Pinot Noir, but many white wine varieties are also popular here like Riesling, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

At around 300 metres elevation, Central Otago's vineyards are protected from New Zealand's characteristic maritime climate by high mountains up to 3,700 metres high.

They thus have the only true continental climate zone in the country, with large daily and seasonal temperature extremes. Rainfall averages around 375–600 millimetres: summer is hot and relatively dry, and often accompanied by the Nor'wester foehn wind; autumn is short, cool and sunny; and winter is cold, with substantial falls of snow.


'Moonlight Race' incorporates fruit from three vineyards; Burn Cottage's own biodynamic estate (21%), organically managed Northburn Vineyard (20%) and sustainably farmed Mark II Vineyard (59%). The marriage creates a vibrant reflection of classic Central Otago Pinot Noir. Burn Cottage Vineyard is a natural northeast facing amphitheatre at the south end of the Pisa Range in the Cromwell Basin. It lies to the west of Lake Dunstan at 240 - 310 metres above sea level, with soils of broken down schist and granite, old river beds and outwash of ancient glaciers. Vine age is 11-13 years. Northburn Vineyard is located in the Cromwell Basin on the east bank of Lake Dunstan. Gently sloping northwest to southeast, elevation here is 200 - 257 metres above sea level. Soils are a mix of glacial fans and washes previously used for alluvial gold: stony loams, river stones, clays and schist. Vine age is 13-17 years. Mark II Vineyard is located in the foothills of the Pisa range around 12 km north of Cromwell. The highest of the three sites, it is set on north and east facing slopes at elevations of 250-350 metres. Soils originate from tertiary glacial deposits: fine clays, schist, quartz, manganite and free draining gravel loams. Vine age is 15 years.


The winemaking at Burn Cottage is best described as ‘minimal intervention’. There is no addition of yeasts or bacteria for fermentations, with minimal sulphur use and no filtration before bottling. The 'Moonlight Race' Pinot Noir is named after a water pathway or 'race' that passes through the property. The grapes come from both Burn Cottage's biodynamic vineyards and two other growers with whom they work closely. Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months before release, this is a wine meant for earlier drinking. 'Burn Cottage Vineyard' Pinot Noir, on the other hand, comes from 100% estate fruit and will develop beautifully with age. Both of the Pinot Noirs contain a skilful use of whole-bunch fermentation giving them a lifted fragrance that makes them so enchanting.

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