Central Otago is New Zealand's youngest and most dynamic wine region. Quartz Reef's first release was in 1998, and in this short period the estate has already gained international recognition. The 'c' on the Quartz Reef label stands for Chauvet and the 'b' stands for Bauer. These elements embody the South Pacific influence, and the blue wave represents Lake Dunstan. Clotilde Chauvet, Rudi Bauer, Trevor Scott and John Perriam are principal partners.
Bendigo is a new viticultural sub-region of Central Otago. The largest quartz reef deposit in New Zealand lies beneath the vines at Bendigo Station. From 1862 the historic town of Bendigo was mined. Today, the sun-drenched north facing slopes are set to become famous again - for the production of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chauvet - the methode traditionnelle of Quartz Reef. The north-sloping Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate Vineyard released it's first single vineyard vintage to rapturous reviews. There are currently 15ha under cultivation.
Quartz Reef applies the proven winemaking talents of Austrian-born Rudi Bauer, who continues to enjoy and explore the Pinot Noir's many dimensions, and the convergence of the old and the new wine worlds. Rudi Bauer arrived in New Zealand in 1985, after gaining degrees in Austria and Germany, in both viticulture and winemaking. He worked at Misson, Rippon and Giesen (doing vintages in his off-seasons in California and Oregon), before forming Quartz Reef in 1996 with Clotilde and their partners.
Clotilde Chauvet made the first bottle-fermented sparkling wine in Central Otago at Rippon Vineyard in Wanaka, where she succeeded Rudi as winemaker. The Chauvet family has been making Champagne since 1529 - her wealth of experience is reflected in the Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle.
Rudi describes Quartz Reef as reflecting the old and the new - the history in the region and in the 400 years of winemaking by the Chauvet family, whose confidence that the region could produce excellent sparkling wine was the foundation for the venture. He has produced a number of medal and trophy-winning wines over the years and was named Champion Winemaker of the Year in 1999 at the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand Easter Wine Show.
"Salzburg-born Rudi Bauer is one of the most respected winemakers in Central Otago, having worked at Mission and Rippon amongst others before forming Quartz Reef in 1996 with Clotilde Chauvet from Champagne and Trevor Scott. They cultivate 15 hectares of Pinot Noir using multifarious rootstock and clone variations upon north-facing slopes of quartz deposits in Bendigo with supplementary fruit sourced from Central Otago!" -eRobertparker.com, "This is more like it. Structure and fruit, varietal integrity, fragrance, life in the mouth and a sound, grapey, grape-tannin fuelled finish. Very cleverly put together. Classy wine. Good now and later. A quality pinot noir, in world terms!" -Winefront.com.au
"It is now well established that Central Otago is producing outstanding pinot noirs, with Quartz Reef being no exception. Still, there is no doubt in Rudi's mind that to produce great pinot noir will take time. We are looking forward to the exciting journey to learn more about pinot noir, the expression of the vines and the development in the bottle. One of the Top 10 New Zealand Producers!" -Atkin On The Case