In 2008, three friends – three Riesling fanatics – came together and established Auburn Wines. Aside from a common thread of love, appreciation and devotion to Riesling, the winegrower ethos was unanimous and uncompromising; to focus on Riesling, and Riesling only, in small volumes off unique sites from the sub-regions of Central Otago.
Riesling has the uncanny ability to coax individuality and unique expression from its chosen site, whether it be heavier clay soils, wind-blown loess or weathered schist gravels. Coupled with a climate of warm days and cool nights with the lowest rainfall in New Zealand, Riesling has found a home in Central Otago.
The viticulture is intensive, with all work carried out by hand and every bunch meticulously inspected and selected. The decision to harvest is based on taste and flavours, with an eye on the weather and the numbers. Winemaking is hands off, allowing the fruit to follow its own path with ferments stopped once the right balance is achieved. Production is intentionally kept very limited, allowing for greater attention and focus on smaller lots that carry with them a stamp of integrity, quality and identity.
Behind The Name
The Central Otago landscape is etched in rugged beauty, sharp contours, dramatic seasonality and long shadows steeped in golden light. The core of this landscape, however, revolves around a singular colour that finds a home throughout the year. That colour is auburn.
The region also possesses a rich history, borne of a gold rush that set the foundations for its British heritage. No more evident than through the naming of the subregions or stations of Lowburn, Northburn, Parkburn, Bannockburn and so on; the “burn” suffix referring to a stream or creek in the Gaelic language. Adopting this heritage, we also chose to use the “burn” suffix and partner it with Au, the chemical symbol for gold.
The logo is open to interpretation, but its roots bore three fruitful metaphors:
- The first represents the Central Otago winegrowing region itself; Cromwell acting as the central focal point, and the surrounding subregions satellites that comprise a circular perimeter.
- The second looks at the Riesling grape as the base element, analogous to Hydrogen with a core nucleus surrounded by an electron.
- The third delves into the mystery of winemaking (part art, part science), with reference to alchemy; the target symbol a contemporary version of the symbol for gold in alchemy.
The Auburn Team
Max Marriott - Vigneron
On the ground at Auburn headquarters, Max oversees all aspects of day-to-day operations, from viticulture to winemaking to marketing. He works as a viticulturist in the region and provides regular wine commentary for various industry publications.
David Paterson - Proprietor
A kiwi expat living abroad, Dave is based in the Okanagan Valley of Canada where he works as the winemaker for a high profile Riesling specialist. His technical advice and consultancy ensures the Auburn wines are made pure and reflective of origin.
Andrew Burge - Proprietor
The sage wizard of the operation, Andrew is based in Brisbane where his all-seeing eye is never far from the vineyards. A Riesling fanatic, he provides very necessary business nous and a probing mind that keeps Max and Dave honest.