Pinot Noir flows down Central Otago drains


Cromwell is home to some of the world's best Pinot Noir
Cromwell is home to some of the world's best Pinot Noir
It is a thing of nightmares. Central Otago Pinot Noir flowing into the sewer. 
Unfortunately for renowned local Cromwell winemaker, Rudi Bauer it was his reality this week. 
Locals were quick to spot the wine flowing into the gutter in the industrial area of Cromwell off McNulty Road. Putting the grapevine into a spin, local winemakers were unable to uncover the culprit. 
That is until Rudi Bauer, of Quartz Reef Wines, contacted local news outlet, Crux, to confirm it was him.
The veteran wine maker admits he was pumping wine into a tanker in preparation for its transfer to another winery when it began “spilling out” before he could stop it.

“I was too slow.”

In total, he estimates he lost approximately 50 litres of pinot noir – enough to fill close to 67 average wine bottles.

“From a winemaker’s point of view, it’s rather painful.” The wine had reached the stage for blending and bottling. 
As he observed the spill down the drain, Bauer acknowledged it had a “bloody good colour.” Despite labelling it a mistake, not a disaster, such incidents were unprecedented in his 25 years at Quartz Reef.
Looking ahead, Mr. Bauer assures wine enthusiasts that the 2023 Central Otago vintage, sampled by local winemakers, promises exceptional quality. And suggests there’s no need to waste any more of it.


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