Dragon Bones

Our Story

Our 3.5 ha, off-grid vineyard in the Waitaki Valley, North Otago, sits at the foot of tussocked mountains where they meet the flats of the Waitaki River as it makes its way from Aoraki/Mt Cook to the sea near Oamaru.

What lies beneath this amazing natural landscape is also what makes us excited to be making wine here: strata of ancient limestone embedded with fossilized shells and undiscovered sea creatures, geological features which have seen North Otago recently recognised as a Unesco Global Geopark.

The name of our vineyard and wines, Dragon Bones, was a product of our young daughter's imaginative mind as she wandered the limestone crags with her aunty. For us this evokes the mystery of where we live, and its history. The roots of our grapevines reach deep into the fossil soils which enticed the initial winegrowers of the Waitaki Valley.

Among them were Tim’s stepfather Peter and mother Teresa, who planted Riesling and Pinot Gris in 2005, then later grafted 16 rows of Pinot Noir on the block on Grants Rd. Peter, being a German expat, looked to the old world for inspiration and realised the potential of the region for growing cool climate varieties.

Living just metres from the vines with our two daughters, allows us, also in the style of the old world, to be working in the vines everyday. We do most of the work ourselves by hand, with lots of extra help at harvest.

This allows us to be in constant connection and observation with our vineyard, as we cycle through the yearly tasks in the vineyard. Our focus is on gentle and minimal intervention to produce grapes of the best quality and that are able to fully express terroir. Being amongst the vines daily allows us to make constant decisions for the health and sustainability of the vineyard.

Living, working and breathing viticulture in this region since 2010 has given us both an in- depth understanding of growing premium quality grapes in our small but exciting winegrowing region.

After hand harvesting, our grapes are dispatched to our trusted winemaker, Antony Worch, whose expert and gentle handling of the grapes we really appreciate. A French winemaker, Antony uses traditional techniques to allow the wines to reflect their terroir.

We are lucky to use a woodcut print by Tim’s long time friend and Dunedin artist, Manu Berry, on our label. It is of our house and vineyard and we think it perfectly captures the dramatic landscape in which we live.

Our Wines