Wooing Tree is a dream comes true. Steve and his wife Thea, sister Jane and husband Geoff were all IT professionals in the UK. They wanted to move back home to Otago, but doing something completely different, hence wine. They bought the land for Wooing Tree in 2002 and Steve, with no experience in wine apart from drinking, enrolled at Plumpton for the two years viticulture/winemaking course. Their first wine, Pinot Noir 2005, won the Open Red Wine Trophy at the 2006 Air New Zealand Award. Since then, their wines have won numerous medals and trophies in both national and international wine competitions, including the Best Pinot Noir in the 2009 Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HKIWSC), and Best Wine with Peking Duck in the 2011 HKIWSC.
Central Otago wine is renowned for its fruit concentration and it shows in Wooing Tree. Both the Blondie and the Rose have about 4-5g/l residual sugar but taste sweeter because of their fruitiness. Both wines are refreshing with a good balance of acidity. I particular like the Rose for its structure, and I am convinced that it would win a medal for Best Wine with Dim Sum. The trophy winning Wooing Tree Pinot Noir is complex with a perfect oak integration. Its silky tannin matches well with the texture of Peking duck and the ripe fruit aromas stand up well to the sweet hoisin sauce.
No doubt Chris Foss, the leader of Plumpton’s Wine Department, is proud of Steve’s, and indeed other Plumpton students’ achievements. People sometimes laugh when I tell them I studied winemaking in England but we Plumptonians are making wine in every corner of the world from New Zealand, South Africa and Canada to Greece, Portugal, France and of course England. After talking to Steve and looking through the beautiful pictures of Wooing Tree, I am very tempted to just do the same.
Wooing Tree wine is available from At Style Wine.