Clos Ostler was founded by true Waikaki visionaries and pioneers Jim Jerram and his talented brother-in-law, winemaker and viticulturist Jeff Sinnott.
Jim and Jeff’s deep connection with the high country land in this region extends back multiple generations.
Clos Ostler was named after Jim’s great grandfather William Ostler who in 1852 emigrated from Yorkshire in the UK to New Zealand to manage Benmore Station near Omarama for Robert Campbell of Castle Duntroon in Scotland.
In time, William Ostler bought first Ben Ohau Station behind today's Twizel township, and subsequently Lilibank Station at the head of Lake Tekapo.
Three generations later, in 1998, Jim and Jeff continued the ground breaking family tradition and went prospecting for exceptional grape-growing land.
At that time, there was no history of commercial winegrowing in the Waitaki region, however, they discovered an exceptional site that Jeff believed was perfect for growing high quality, cool climate wine grapes; a north-facing limestone-influenced slope on an escarpment overlooking a braided river.
It reminded him of the famous slopes of Burgundy.
The first Pinot Noir vines were planted at 'Clos Ostler' in 2002 and over the next two years, Jim, his wife Anne, Jeff and his sister developed the Ostler site further planting Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines.
The estates famous Caroline’s Pinot was named after Jim’s mother and Audrey’s Pinot Gris (link to wine here) was named after his grandmother.
Jeff has described the land as "perhaps one of the most viticulturally significant soils in New Zealand.”
Through their creativity, hard work and perseverance they created something of magnitude. In the years that followed received international recognition and accolades.
In 2021, Clos Ostler passed to new custodians, whose family have been wine producers for multiple generations in Switzerland and Australia.
They have huge respect and admiration of what has been achieved to date, and see it as their privilege to continue to invest in the vineyard, infrastructure and brand to “polish the diamond” that is Clos Ostler.
The beautiful but challenging environment of the Waitaki makes it difficult for the vine growers but wonderful for the winemakers.
The story of Clos Ostler began in earnest 38 million years ago when geological forces drove an ancient limestone seabed upwards forming the building blocks of the modern Waitaki Valley in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Today, the valley is home to one of New Zealand’s unique wine growing climates — one that sits close to the margins of vine growing.
The poor soils force the vines to grow deep. The powerful winds and cool climate allow the grapes to ripen slowly, retaining acidity despite the warm daytime sun.
This stressing of the vines means they are low in vigour, producing grapes low in yield, but high in flavour, complexity and concentration.
The Clos offers a range of altitude, soil types and microclimates. Coupled with varying pinot clones producing some of the most complex and nuanced wines known to New Zealand of a distinctive style that are a true reflection of this unique site.