Central Otago is New Zealand’s highest and the world’s most southerly wine growing region with four distinct sub-regions - the Gibbston Valley, near Queenstown; Wanaka; Alexandra; and the Cromwell Basin. The vineyards lie in the valleys surrounded by high mountains, many of which are snow-capped year round. The region benefits from low rainfall and high sunshine hours with little risk of frost, making it perfect for the creation of its high quality Pinot Noir – the region now has an international reputation for its rich, well-rounded and fragrant Pinot Noir. Soil structures are very different to those of New Zealand's other regions with heavy mineral deposits of mica and schists in silt loams with excellent drainage. Other grape varieties grown in the region include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling, with Sauvignon Blanc and Gewruztraminer grown to a lesser extent.