A Few Of Our Secrets

Bottle of Bristol Farm Wine

Brendan Seal, consultant winemaker

Brendan Seal, consultant winemaker

Brendan has a consultancy business designed to cater for the needs of the small volume but extremely high quality wine producers. His first vintage in Central Otago was 1999 and he has had various winemaking roles at Chard Farm, Mt Difficulty and Mt Edward. In addition Brendan has extensive international winemaking experience including Oregon and Napa Valley in the USA, Alsace, Cyprus and the United Kingdom.

His winemaking philosophy can be summarised as '…less is more…' and this perfectly suits Bristol Farm. Here the fruit is allowed to shine rather than compete with the winemaker's intrusive techniques and tricks.

Brendan has a very deep understanding and love for the Central Otago region and this translates seamlessly into the wines he curates.

Where The Fruit Is Grown

Where The Fruit Is Grown

The vineyard is located in a prime location near Bannockburn, Central Otago. Bristol Farm does not own vineyards but works closely with the region's most dedicated grape growers to secure the best fruit possible from each vintage. From 2014 and all-subsequent vintages so far the fruit has come from the same vineyard which allows a consistency of style and flavours in the resultant wine

The soil is a mix of gravel and clay. This is ideal for grape vines allowing the vines roots system to grow deep underground and source a wide nutrient base. The Central Otago region has been shown to be ideal for growing Pinot Noir. The latitude of 44-45 deg South means that the climate is continental with typically warm dry summer and autumn days being contrasted with cool nights that allows for an extended ripening season.

A clone is a group of vines that have been propagated from a cutting rather than a seed. Each plant will have the same properties as its parent vine. In order to make a complex balanced wine it is important to blend different clones. The fruit for Bristol Farm Wines is from a vineyard that was planted primarily in 2002 with many clones. The most important clones in this site are 667, 777, 115, 5(Pommard) and Abel (Gumboot or Ata Rangi clone). Below are a few words about each of these clones.

Inside The Winery

Inside The Winery

The grape juice (must) is allowed to ferment naturally without inoculation of cultivated yeast. The ferments take place in 1.5 tonne fermenters and the cap is hand plunged to ensure even and consistent fermentation.

Following primary fermentation the wine is left to macerate for approximately 3 weeks before being transferred to premium French Oak barrels, approximately 20% of these barrels being new. In the cellar the wine is left to its own devices for about a year and is bottled only with a minimal addition of sulphur for biological stability. The wine is neither filtered nor fined.

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