In 1852, William Ostler moved from Yorkshire to New Zealand to oversee Robert Campbell’s Benmore Station at Omarama. Campbell, a Scot from Castle Duntroon, had previously relocated to New Zealand and purchased Otekaieke Station in the lower Waitaki.
Ostler wanted his own station as a pioneer in the new colony, so he bought Ben Ohau, behind today’s Twizel settlement, and then Lilibank, at the top of Lake Tekapo, from the squatters who had inhabited the huge tracts of land some years previously.
Ostler’s great grandson Jim Jerram and his brother-in-law, winemaker and viticulturist Jeff Sinnott, went prospecting for ideal grape-growing area in the lower Waitaki’s limestone country, inland from Oamaru, in 1998, completely unaware of this history. There was no tradition of commercial winegrowing in the area at the time.
A north-facing limestone-influenced slope on an escarpment overlooking the braided river, Sinnott reasoned, encompassed the fundamental requirements for growing superior cool climate wine grapes. It reminded him of the famed Burgundy hills.
In 2002, the first Pinot Noir vines were planted at ‘Clos Ostler,’ and the venture was officially started with Jeff Sinnott as partner, viticulturist, and winemaker. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines were planted in the following two years.
For wines with a distinct style, international acclaim and accolades quickly followed…
Ostler Vineyards Limited recently participated in the JAPAN Wines & Spirits Awards 2021 and won GOLD Award in this prestigious competition:
Ostler Estate Pinot Noir 2020 Waitaki Valley
Awarded Gold by Business News Japan
Interview of Business News Japan to Dr Jim Jerram – Managing Director
Question 1: Do you already export to JAPAN ? If yes, where ? If no, what type of importers & distributors are you looking for in JAPAN ?
Answer : Yes, LUC Corporation.
Question 2: What is the most unique and qualitative part of your products, different from competitors ?
Answer : We, Ostler Wines, are wine pioneers in the Waitaki Valley, North Otago, New Zealand’s smallest and newest wine region. Cool climate and limestone influenced, the wines are stylistically unique in NZ, Umami, minerality and great character.
Question 3: When did you start to export your brand worldwide, and what is your development plan for the next years ?
Answer : First export to BBR in London in 2005.
For more information about Ostler Vineyards Limited please visit their website :