The OTU Wine Estate Story

Our OTU Wine Estate brings together a unique, sea-swept terroir set at the edge of the Southern Ocean –  where the ancient Otuwhero River runs through the lower valleys of Marlborough New Zealand – with an expert group of passionate people drawn from around the world of wine.

Cradled between snowy mountains and at the edge of the South Pacific Ocean, our OTU Wine Estate is remote coastal and rugged terroir – and along with low vigour soils and long sunshine hours, produces distinctively bold, ripe fruit flavours, and exquisitely expressive wines. Planted entirely in Sauvignon Blanc at the outset, our OTU Estate is made up of multiple vineyard blocks, predominantly planted on exposed north eastern facing slopes which now include Pinot Noir.

The ancient Otuwhero River, gives our wine its name, and is fed by melting snows from surrounding mountain peaks. This provides our estate with seams of rich alluvial gravels that rise through our silt and clay soils – delivering bold minerality, intensity and ripe opulence to our wines.

We bring leading edge winemaking, to ancient soils. Our approach is contemporary and leading; gathered over more than a decade, through seasons that have been both immensely challenging and very rewarding.

OTU Estate Winemaking

Our winegrowing team is headed by Chief Winemaker Jan Kux, who studied at Geisenheim, Germany and Bordeaux, France, and now has over twenty years of experience in wine making and vineyard management.

In addition to his winemaking skills, Jan’s a qualified sommelier, a member of the GESCO Society for the sciences and development of viticulture and an active member in the German Sommelier Association.

Based in Switzerland with his wife and two children, Jan calls New Zealand home for half of the year with his role in OTU. He says “The Awatere Valley vineyard terroir is outstanding, producing fruit that has bold flavour even by Marlborough standards. Our vision is to take that fruit and craft bold, distinctive wines, using the Old World winemaking techniques I have learned at some of the great vineyards of Europe.”