The grapes to produce Pinot Noir “Devils Staircase” Rockburn were carefully selected and fermented with selected yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The fermenting wine spent 20 days on the skins, which imparted colour, flavour and structure. Partial malolactic conversion took place resulting in a softer texture. Pinot Noir “Devils Staircase” Rockburn was matured in tank without any oak influence in order to retain the pure fruit flavours. Vinified following a philosophy of minimal intervention.
The Devil’s Staircase wines are inspired by the winding road leading from Queenstown to Kingston along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Rockburn takes its name from the rugged, rock-strewn, burn scarred landscape of Central Otago. Located on the 45th parallel, Rockburn shares a climate that is similar to Burgundy. These Central Otago vineyards are surrounded by mountains to the west, whose seaward slopes are rainforest, receiving 5,000mm of rain per annum. To the east is a barren, moon-like landscape that receives less than 25mm or rain a year. Situated between these extremes, lie the Rockburn vineyards, which are producing Pinot Noir of stunning quality.
Rockburn started as the hobby of Richard Bunton in 1991. He planted a few hectares of vineyard in the then pretty much unknown area of Central Otago. In 2005, Malcolm Francis the winemaker, arrived from Felton Road where his skills immediately reaped the rewards when he won the Elite Gold Medal. This is a very exciting new arrival on the world Pinot Noir stage.