These North Otago wines are a tribute to my friend and mentor, the late Howard Patterson, a visionary who recognised the viticultural potential of the Waitaki Valley. Cocooned by mountains on all sides, the Waitaki Valley wine-growing region lies 40km inland from the Pacific Ocean, stretching a mere 20km between Duntroon and Kurow on the southern flanks of the Waitaki River. Here, gentle north-facing slopes allow successful viticulture similar to Central Otago, with 1000 plus growing degree days. Unique to the region however, are the soils - free-draining river gravels, inter-layered with ancient limestone seabed. This combination of unique soil and climate gives Waitaki Valley wines their own distinctive personality; while still reflecting characteristics typical of Otago.