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Grasshopper Rock vineyard to be mined for gold

26 August 2011

Grasshopper Rock vineyard to be mined for gold

Grasshopper Rock vineyard in Central Otago could be sitting on a pot of gold. In the late 1800’s alluvial gold dredges came within a two hundred metres of the vineyard and today L&M Group are mining gold within two kilometres of the vineyard.

Grasshopper Rock managing director, Phil Handford says mining the vineyard is a discussion we have been having but we are also drawn to preserve Grasshopper Rock as one of the greatest Alexandra vineyards.

The gold mining discussion has been dropped for the moment following the latest Gold Medal award at the 2011 Bragato Wine Awards. The Gold Medal means three vintages of Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir have all been awarded three gold medals each, at some of the most important wine competitions.

“Nine gold medals in just three vintages is an amazing story, but these vines are only young and the wine we produce will only get better with older vines. There are very few vineyards anywhere which come close to producing such consistent quality Pinot Noir. ”

Handford, who with four other partners, established Grasshopper Rock in 2003 says the consistent quality Pinot Noir being produced from this piece of land makes it very apparent this a special vineyard site.

“I think to dig the vineyard up for gold would be a great waste. Miners come and go, but this vineyard will be here in 100 years and it will be an important part of the community. There’s more gold in growing great wine, and the excitement lasts a lot longer. ”


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