Rippon's story begins in 1912 when Sir Percy Sargood bought a high country station on the western flanks of Lake Wanaka. Three decades later, while serving in the Second World War as a submarine lieutenant, Percy's grandson, Rolfe Mills, was struck by the vines growing on the schist slopes of the Douro Valley that reminded him of those back in Wanaka and, with that, a hunch was born. In 1975, Rolfe and his wife Lois began planting experimental vines and, in 1982 began the commercial planting of the 15ha that today comprise Rippon. Biodynamic farming, wild ferments, no irrigation and some of Central Otago’s oldest vines on their own roots all help to produce fruit and wines which are true to their place.
What The Critics Say
95/100 Cameron Douglas MS (2016 vintage)
"Extremely youthful bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas and scents of spice and earth, red fruits and crushed flowers, tea and old rose. Equally youthful on the palate with a vibrant and energy filled flavour profile - crushed rocks, dark red berry fruits, oak spice and whispers of smoke, organic and adventurous. Dry and lengthy, savoury, dried herb offset with a core of red berry fruit flavours. Youthful textures from tannins and acidity. A delicious wine but also a very young wine. Decant for service if opened before 2021. Best drinking 2022 through 2032."
18/20 JancisRobinson.com, Julia Harding (2016 vintage)
"Bright cherry red. Delicate rocky/mineral aroma and plenty of dusty dark-red fruit. Wild herbs but not thyme. So fragrant. On the palate, that rocky dark-red fruit perfectly mirrored. Very fine texture. Coming back to taste this again after the two single-block 2014s, this seems a little more delicate. The tannins finer and more supple. Very elegant and refined. Tinker’s Block has more mass but this has more elegance. Under Diam – only their Osteiner is sealed under screwcap. This wine gives ‘the most complete picture of the farm’. Mature vines from each block. Blocks fermented separately and first winter in barrel. 25–40% whole bunch. (JH)."
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