Elegant, sensuous, and intimate Pinot wines

This vineyard grew from an idea that with love of the land and attention to detail our site would make great Pinot Noir and St Laurent.
International sommeliers and wine competitions like Decanter, International Wines and Spirits Challenge, and Air New Zealand Wine awards have all awarded our wines gold after gold after gold.

2014 Pinot Noir wins the Pinot Noir Trophy and the Best Red Wine Trophy at the 2016 Australia & New Zealand Boutique Wine Show

We are so small we are almost invisible. Our mass of awards belies our size. We are the Higgs Boson of world Pinot Noir.

We are visible once a week at the Otago Farmers Market Dunedin on a Saturday morning at the beautiful historic railway station. This has become our cellar door to the world.

You can also find us in the Auckland Farro Fresh stores, Auckland Fine Wine Delivery Co, Wellington Karori The Cellar Room, and Meenans Wines & Spirits Dunedin.

Please visit our Alexandra Cellar Door – open 7 days all year round 11.00 to 5.00 pm

Our address is 36 Hillview Road Alexandra

Our contact phone number is +64 (0 )3 4485059 or +64 (0) 274279108



Click Here to view Liquor off-licence


Ph: 03 4485059
Mob: 0274 279108
Address: 36 Hillview Road, Alexandra 9391

Judge Rock Wines

Judge Rock Wines

Our Awards

2006 Pinot Noir – sold out

  • 5 stars – UK Decanter magazine
  • 91/100 – Neal Martin of Robert Parker
  • 5 stars & Best Buy – NZ Cuisine
  • Gold Medal  – Liquor Land Top 100

2007 Pinot Noir – sold out

  • Elite Gold medal – Air New Zealand Wine Awards

2008 Pinot Noir – sold out

  • Blue-gold medal – Sydney International Wine Competition
  • 89/100 – Lisa Perotti-Brown of Robert Parker

2009 Pinot Noir- sold out

  • Silver medal – International Wine and Spirit Challenge
  • Silver medal – Australian Boutique Wine Awards
  • 91/100 – Tom Cannavon MW

2010 Pinot Noir – sold out

  • Gold medal – UK Decanter World Wide Wine Awards
  • Elite Gold  medal – Air New Zealand Wine Awards
  • Gold medal – International Wine and Spirit Challenge
  • 5 stars – NZ Cuisine
  • 96/100 – Gourmet Wine Traveller Magazine

2011 Pinot Noir – sold out

  • Silver medal – Australian Boutique Wine Awards
  • Silver medal – International Wine and Spirit Challenge
  • 4.5 stars – Winestate Magazine

2012 Pinot Noir – sold out

  • Highly recommended –  91/100 Decanter Magazine 2014
  • Gold medal – UK Decanter World Wide Wine Awards
  • 4.5 stars November 2014 Cuisine
    Silver medal International Wines & Spirits competition

2011 St Laurent – sold out

  • Silver medal – Air New Zealand Wine Awards
  • Silver medal – International Wine and Spirit Challenge
  • Silver medal – Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show

2013 Pinot Noir – sold out

  • Gold Medal Decanter World Wide Wine Awards

2013 St Laurent

  • Silver medal Decanter World Wine Awards

2014 Pinot Noir – sold out

  • Pinot Noir Trophy Australia & NZ Boutique wine Awards 2016
  • Best Red Wine Trophy Australia & NZ Boutique wine Awards 2016

2015 Pinot Noir

  • Silver medal NZ Wine of the Year Awards

2016 Pinot Noir

  • Decanter silver medal, Cuisine 5 stars Top Ten

2018 Rose

  • Silver medal NZ Wine of the Year Awards

2018 Pinot Gris

  • Silver medal NZ Wine of the Year Awards

Vineyard/ Cottage Accommodation

Judge Rock Cottage Accommodation





1800331_10152186442972380_1067385913_nCome along and experience a home away from home in our newly renovated self contained Cottage. Enjoy vineyard accommodation at its finest. Large, spacious open plan living areas make this cottage the perfect place to relax, unwind and entertain both inside and out. Enjoy the comfort of cottage living and wake up to stunning panoramic views.  Sleeping 6, the Judge Rock Cottage is in a prime location to enjoy the Central Otago Rail Trail and other attractions in and around Central Otago. If you are looking for short term accommodation with a difference then the Judge Rock Cottage is your place to relax, with beautiful views of the vineyard right at your back door. To find out more and to book your stay do not hesitate to contact us.

This self contained cottage has everything you need to make the most of your time in Central Otago. With the freedom to come and go as you please with private access and parking, and with the Alexandra Golf Course and Rail Trail at your doorstep, there is plenty to keep you occupied. Alexandra town centre is also only a 20 min walk away.

Private deck and BBQ area with vineyard views, great for entertaining or relaxing. With the added bonus of being situated right on the award winning Judge Rock Pinot Wines vineyard, treat yourself to a tasting and get to know your friendly hosts over a number of their award winning vintages. Base yourself here for exploring the region



Stay 2 nights at the Judge Rock Cottage and receive an exclusive wine tasting with your hosts and a free bottle of gold medal Pinot Noir


Click here to view the cottage.


Due to the nature of our business cancellations affect us significantly and we apply a strict cancellation policy. At time of booking a 50% deposit is requested to confirm the booking. The remaining 50% is due 7 days prior to arrival.

When a cancellation is received within 20 days of your intended arrival date, we will retain 25% of the room cost; Cancellations from 19 to 7 days, we will retain the 50% deposit; and 100% will be charged if less than 7 days’ notice is given. Every effort will be made to re-book the room and, if successful, the fee will be refunded.


Minimum stay 2 nights
NZ$300 per night for 2 people plus $50 per extra person

The Judge Rock vision is elegant sensuous intimate Pinot Noir

Our vineyard of 4 hectares is planted with 12,000 Pinot Noir vines with the oldest vines planted in 1998.  The first planting was by John Patrick Joseph Jacobson ( Paul’s Dad) in late 1998.  The vineyard is on a westerly face slope down in the sheltered Alexandra basin in Central Otago New Zealand. We have the extremes of winter frosts -12C and summer heat 35C with cool continental climate nights.

 Our growing season starts in early October with bud burst in the first or second week and picking in early to mid April depending on the season.

The rows of vines are angled to the north west to balance the sun light on both sides of the vines from veraison to picking. The vines are at 1.4m to 1.2m spacing with 2.5m row widths to accommodate the Massey Ferguson 35 red tractor. Vines are bud rubbed, shoot thinned, tucked up,leave removed, grape thinned and shoulder trimmed and picked, all by hand.

This is what winemakers call hang time, leave grapes on vines to develop flavours past 24 brix. Nervous time for us vintners!


A Year in the Vineyard

October: Start sulphur spray regime. Every 2-3 weeks until nets go on in February. Bud burst is usually first to second week of October.
Shoot thinning –removal of shoots to 2 per spur preferably one either side. Ensure there is an adequate gap between each spur for shoots to develop uncrowded. Ensure that area below the crown is not too crowded.
Remove shoots at bottom of trunk
Bud rub shoots up trunk
Planting or replanting
November: Continue shoot removal
Check for blocked drippers
Lifting of tuck wires
Remove shoots at bottom of trunk
December: Continue shoot removal
Remove laterals
Lifting of tuck wires
Straightening and untangling of vines
January: Lifting of tuck wires
Straightening and untangling of vines
Putting in clips
Leaf plucking remove laterals so that fruit has light and air around
Take down irrigators
Trim vines
February: Put on nets- tie down and secure
Check and repair nets
Put up irrigators
Lifting of tuck wires
Putting in clips
Fruit thinning and removal of shoulders
Checking drippers
March: Remove second set & green/unripe fruit
April: Harvest and party – now the winemaker’s work begins
May: Take down irrigators
Take off nets
Label and put away nets
Vineyard clean up
Remove sleeves and stakes no longer required
Put up irrigators
June: Pruning- removal of cane down to 2 buds per spur. Spurs spaced length of secateurs apart Remove any spurs pointing down, or off to the side. Leave one spur down trunk below crown.
Training- check cordon wrap is firm and rewrap or wrap new cane if required
Younger vines 2 bud at base, choke tie or wrap . Cut off any shoots down trunk.
Clean out sleeves of younger vines
July and August: Pruning & training
September: Remove sleeves and stakes no longer required
Pruning completed
Tidy up vineyard
Drop tuck wires


Steps in Pinot Noir Production

Our grapes are hand picked late April with brix content around 25brix.

Our Pinot Noir clones consist of
19% 10/5
29% Dijon
21% Pommard
31% 667/777.Our Pinot Noir wine making consists of the following
90-95% destem with 5-10% whole bunches,
100% whole berries
one week cold soak at 10-14C in stainless steel open topped fermentor,
8 day ferment with temperatures 25-32C,
10-14 days post ferment on skins to extract colour and soften the tannins.
The wine is tasted daily to get the optimal balance of tannin and fruit character.
It is then lightly settled and raked to French oak barrels (one third new oak, one third year two, & one third years’ three and four year old barrels)
The malolactic fermentation occurs in the barrels to soften the wine and the wine spends 10-11 months in barrel.

The wine is settled prior to bottling. We find the Pinot Noir wine needs 18 months bottle aging to reapproach it’s condition in barrel.
Our wines are gently crafted at Vinpro in Cromwell under the stewardship of a team of New Zealand’s most experienced oenologists.

Contact Us

Judge Rock Wines

Welcome to Judge Rock

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