A small, characterful shed clad in schist is home to the Shaky Bridge Wines cellar door. Beside it, a paved, furnished area surrounded by roses and lavender plants offers a pleasant alfresco tasting option.
Although Shaky Bridge itself is a relatively new label, this winery has far deeper roots. It began as William Hill Winery (first commercial vintage in 1988), which was founded by the pioneering Bill Grant. The William Hill brand was phased out in favour of Shaky Bridge years ago. The original Home Block vineyard still provides fruit for the wines. However, the company now manages several other vineyard blocks in the Alexandra Basin and has significantly increased production since the early days.
Shaky Bridge Wines is privately owned, with Bill’s son David in the role of winemaker.
There are several tiers to the Shaky Bridge range, with the Artisan Series at the top. Four whites are also made: pinot gris, chardonnay, gewurztraminer and riesling. The second-tier wines, Shaky Bridge Pioneer Series, offer more fruit-forward styles from the same varietal menu. Another label called Devil’s Backbone offers pinot noir and pinot gris in a similar style.
Our picks Make sure you try the Artisan pinot noir, which is made from some of the oldest pinot vines in Central Otago.
Plus If you’d like to try Shaky Bridge wines with a good cafe lunch, head back to Alexandra and stop in at the winery’s Shaky Bridge Cafe (65 Graveyard Gully Rd). It’s a great spot right next to the original shaky bridge, an old walking bridge that spans the Manuherikia River.