Peregrine Wines: The Flight of the Falcon
New Zealand hosts only one inland and elevated wine growing region: Central Otago. Here, the vineyards overlook spectacular river valleys, snow-laden mountainsides, and crystal clear lakes with breathtaking shores. Therefore, it has become a tourist spot where people can enjoy local cuisines and a distinctive wine lifestyle. The scenic locale is also where wine lovers can sample New Zealand’s iconic brand of tipple: the Peregrine wines.
Perched on the world’s southernmost winemaking region, the Peregrine wines are representative of Central Otago – its identity, environment, and culture. From its range of wines to the architecture of its winery, Peregrine Wines is gaining ground and putting Central Otago’s name on the international wine scene.
Tracing its Roots
Peregrine has a young history, with the first vintage being produced only in 1998. Despite being relatively young, it has become a sought-after brand not only in New Zealand but in other countries as well. Wine connoisseurs flock to the region to experience an authentic wine lifestyle first-hand, and this reputation was a result of a vision with the identity of Central Otago as a region that produces fine wine.
Driven by passion for wine and the region’s environment, Lindsay McLachlan and Greg Hay established Peregrine with a distinctive brand of quality and authenticity, also having environmental preservation in mind. Since the release of its first vintage, Peregrine’s viticultural process involves hand picking only the best fruits from its 11 sites across the sub-regions of Lowburn, Bendigo, and Gibbston.
The winery was named after New Zealand’s native birds. Its wines draw inspiration from the power and finesse of the native falcon (Karearea) and the Saddleback, both are indigenous to the country. In a bid to conserve and help these species survive, Peregrine also serves as a safe haven for them.
The Falcon Wing
True to its name, Peregrine reflects its advocacy and character in its winery. With a state-of-the-art architecture, the building is designed as a wingspan of the Peregrine falcon. Evoking the freedom and spirit of the falcon’s flight, the building appears like it’s a falcon flapping its wings as it prepares for flight.
Using the concept of a flying bird’s kinetic rotation, the building appears to soar above its surroundings. It uses materials that provide an important sense of space and light across the building, giving off a tone that conveys “freeing heaven on Earth.” Through the architectural design, Peregrine enforces its advocacy to protect these rare falcons.
Under the “falcon wing” lies the Cellar Door, where the estate’s fine wine is found. Glass walls enclose the tasting room that exudes an atmosphere conducive to wine tasting. Wine barrels are lined up, as people can take a stroll amongst them while taking a good whiff of the aromas.
Peregrine is spacious enough to cater to almost 3,000 people. Because of this, it can be booked for concerts, product launches, fashion shows, weddings, and other special events. Guests also get the chance to try out the wine during booked events, which, in itself, is already quite a treat.
The Different Tastes of Peregrine Wines
Peregrine Wines uses an organic approach in growing its vineyards. Focusing on soil health and avoiding the use of synthetic products, Peregrine winegrowers are able to maintain balanced and healthy vines. This is what gives Peregrine wines their own unique features and qualities.
Peregrine Wines are famous for their Pinot Noir, which has a perfect blend of classic ripe black fruits, herbs, and dried spices. However, the winery also produces other varieties such as the Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Its Sauvignon Blanc is rich in flavors of lime juice, gooseberries, and passion fruits. The Pinot Gris, on the other hand, exudes warmth and elegance with its brilliant mix of peaches and nuts.
Style Meets Wine
Peregrine raked in bundles of favorable reviews for its exceptional wines, customer experience and the rather “space age” design of its winery. Critics praised it for its architecture that goes well with its unique wine collection.
One wine enthusiast lauded the winery’s stunning architecture that gives out a relaxing atmosphere for tasting wine. “The winery architecture is stunning and having a view of the barrel hall makes you feel in character for tasting wine. Very friendly service, very good Pinot Noir and a unique Central Otago expression of Sauvignon Blanc, black currant and mineral. Lovely bouquet and precise palate,” he wrote. Other reviews expressed the same sentiment, with the building being considered as the “most beautiful setting” to be encountered during wine tours. The Saddleback was “great” according to a tourist, while the 2010 vintage was described as “divine.”
Moreover, Peregrine Wines won various national and international awards, including those from London-based Architecture Review and the New Zealand Institute of Architects. This just shows that all its design beauty, unique character, reflective wine collection, and conservations efforts are deserving of international acclaim.
The beauty of Peregrine has to be experienced first-hand, not just because of its specialized wines, but also the picturesque setting it offers. The entire place is like a portal to a different realm where falcons rule the skies and lord over a marble palace, engendering wine that is as classy and majestic as its scenic abode. Singapore Wine Vault is more than happy to have some of Peregrine’s finest stashed in its drome cellars.