Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko moved to Central Otago in 2006 and have been producing wines made with minimal intervention ever since. Yoshiaki and Kyoko have completed vintages together in Burgundy, the Loire and Alsace and to this day work under the mentorship of Pierre Frick. Until now Yoshiaki has been sourcing fruit from organic vineyards around Central Otago and in early 2016 purchased his own farm in the Pisa sub-region which he has planted with Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir. Wines from Sato’s own vineyard are not expected until 2018.
Sato’s wines are atypically Central Otago; picked early with fresh acidity and perfect fruit ripeness, the wines are softer on the palate and more expressive of time and place than the more conventionally finished, over-worked and youthfully-aggressive wines of the region. These wines are more feminine in character and more elegant than most other wines of the region.
Since 2014, Sato has been working in the vineyard at Northburn Station, taking care of the vines throughout the entire season. In addition to this, they also source organically grown fruit from a Pisa Terrace site:
Northburn Station – Biodynamically farmed (no longer certified) – Sandy, stony loam over river gravels with mineral schist and quartz: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Gris L’Atypique, Pinot Noir Northburn.
Pisa Terrace – Organically farmed (Biogro Organic certified) – Graveley, free-draining loam with schist and quartz: Pinot Noir Pisa Terrace, Pinot Noir L’Insolite.
Annual production: 1,400 cases
Central Otago, New Zealand