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Pyramid Valley

Pyramid Valley was established in 2000, after Mike and Claudia Elze Weersing had spent 15 years scouring the globe to find the perfect place to plant a vineyard. They found it in Waikari, a small town in the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island. Californian-born Mike studied viticulture and oenology in Burgundy, working across Europe where he honed his vision for spectacular winemaking. German-born, but American-raised, Claudia was a passionate biodynamicist and together they crafted remarkable wines until 2017 when they sold Pyramid Valley to Master of Wine and ex Craggy Range winemaker Steve Smith and his business partner, wildlife conservationist Brian Sheth, who had long held a dream to craft wine together. The vineyards have been planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and farmed biodynamically since inception. Steve and Brain are also committed to this approach and carry on the work done by the Weersings, but have also planted Pinot Gris, and a little Muscat and Gewürztraminer from which they craft their Orange wine. The Waikari Estate has 80 hectares divided into small plots. It is a unique site where the rich rocky soils are derived from limestone and clay, siting on high altitude north and east facing slopes. In 2018 they acquired another vineyard in Central Otago: the Manata Estate in Lowburn, which has some of the oldest vines in the region, and the soils are high in natural humus and organic matter. This is solely dedicated to Pinot Noir. There are additional vineyard sites in Marlborough where the grapes are sourced for their Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling wines. Steve is one of the most experienced winemakers in the world, and biodynamics also informs the Pyramid Valley winemaking. They take a natural approach, using native yeasts for fermentation, natural fining and minimal, if any, filtration. Pyramid Valley produce an exceptional range of terroir-driven wines. Their Botanical range is rare and collectable. The Waikari vineyard has different flora growing on each of its four distinct parcels, which have been named after the colloquial name of the particular indigenous plant - each bottle label depicting a beautiful illustration by the artist Patricia Curtin. Their Appellation range also wears a piece of Curtin's original art work adorned with a Vitis vinifera grapevine.