The Skeggs family planted the first vines of Akarua’s 50 hectare vineyard in 1996. As one of the first to commit to a large scale investment into Central Otago Pinot Noir, Sir Clifford Skeggs was able to secure one of the best north facing sites in what is now recognised as Central Otago’s premium winegrowing sub-region, Bannockburn. The vineyard itself consists of many smaller blocks established on the gentle sloping hills that roll down to the Kawarau River where it enters Lake Dunstan. The distinct differences in the fruit from these blocks give Akarua’s Pinot Noirs a high level of fruit derived complexity. Akarua has spared no expense with the design and build of its winery specifically tailored to first class Pinot Noir production. Matt Connell, previously of Olssens, took on the roll of winemaker and general manager in 2008. The 2009 vintage represents a change in direction with Matt being able to realise the full potential of the Akarua vineyard. Akarua is now among the top tier of Central Otago producers. Akarua has been accredited under Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand since 2002.