Desert Heart Joins Wine2Trade

The Central Otago brand is very strong in the domestic market, and it’s due in part to the very high quality and strong fruit expressive character of the Pinot Noir wines from across the region. The plantings now pip Gisborne and are ahead of Waipara, making it the third largest vignoble after Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay. Although there is the commonality of strong fruitiness, there is incredible diversity. That’s part of the attraction of the wines of the whole region. My partner Sue Davies who operates the ‘Wine2Trade’ distribution business has found there is real interest expressed by her clients, wine retailers and sommeliers, as well as interested consumers in the different sub-regions and styles that are emanating from Central Otago, just as there is in Marlborough, with the Wairau and Awatere Valleys.

On our trip to Central Otago last month, we explored the sub-regions and met up with Denny Downie and Jane Gill of Desert Heart in Bannockburn (click here to see my blog on the ‘Turbo Chicks’). Sue and the Desert Heart owners made an instant connection, and realising thatWine2Trade had no dedicated Bannockburn wine producer, the interaction lead to Desert Heart becoming part of the portfolio. (The Desert Heart synopsis for the ‘Wine2Trade’ portfolio can be seen by clicking here.) The Bannockburn area enjoys the warmest and driest growing conditions of Central Otago, lending the wines richness and ripe fruitiness that endow the wines with sweetness and flesh, along with considerable structure. There is certainly a regional terroir.

The Desert Heart wines are essentially sourced from the home block at the end of Felton Road. Denny and Jane were co-owners of a later vineyard development also on Felton Road that supplied fruit for the label, but that vineyard has now been sold, and fruit for the whites is now obtained from neighbouring sites. The wines are made at the nearby Carrick winery with Denny and Jane overseeing the vinification. I review the current wines Desert Heart wines being offered. www.desertheart.co.nz

Disclaimer: These wines are distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates.


  • Desert Heart Central Otago Riesling 2010
  • Desert Heart Central Otago Pinot Gris 2012
  • Desert Heart ‘Renaissance’ Bannockburn Central Otago Chardonnay 2012
  • Desert Heart ‘Magic Moments’ Central Otago Rosé 2015
  • Desert Heart ‘Seduction’ Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010
  • Desert Heart ‘Untamed Heart’ Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010
  • Desert Heart Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009

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