Lovers of all things Central Otago, Kate and Matt Barnett, are the people behind the model, Pinot Junction. A dream has been realised with the lease of Murrells Cottage in the Heritage Precinct of Old Cromwell, purchased in November 2022 - the venue with the best views in Cromwell, transformed from an Italian café to a Central Otago Wine Store and Eatery.

From The CO News December 2022:

Hospitality runs deep through Kate Barnett's veins. Raised in the City Hotel in Dunedin, the Cromwell woman grew up hearing stories of her as a 4-year-old sitting in the bar drinking a Shirley Temple. Her mother Kay Elms, the hotel's maitre'd, was the "hostess with the mostest' with her beautifully coiffed hair and 10cm stilettos, while Father Stewart, founded Felton Road wines with his daughters, kickstarting Mrs Barnett's lifelong career and love affair with the Central Otago wine industry.
Now, after helping to create cellar doors and build other wine businesses, Mrs Barnett has stepped out on her own, opening Pinot Junction Wine Store and Eatery in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. Based in Murrells Cottage, the business came about after a "brain burst' in the middle of the night, she said. "At 3am one morning I woke Matt up and said 'Oh my god, I've got it. I'm going to open a wine store'" That night she wrote the business plan – much of which is still in play today – created the business concept and designed branding.
The return of tourists after Covid-19, her industry experience combined with "exceptional work" from Tourism Central Otago and Central Otago Winegrowers meant the timing was right, she said.
When she heard the owner of an Italian cafe in old Cromwell was keen to sell up, Mrs Barnett said she jumped at the chance. After a whirlwind six weeks, the deal was done and since then it had been a "baptism of fire", Mrs Barnett said. "The whole thing is so serendipitous it's crazy. Everyone, including lawyers and accountants, had worked "really hard to get it through" "It has been a massive Six-week learning curve."
Now open, Pinot Junction focuses on wine and produce from the region, with cabinet food and platters full of locally sourced goods – including baker Wendy's famous cinnamon scrolls. Mrs Barnett said it was a place for people to come, regardless of their experience and knowledge of wine, and sample what was on offer.
"This is for locals and visitors alike” she said. "There's no pretence. I just want to make memories for guests with an exceptional experience and these wines - that's what wines are all about”

Kate and Matt aim to bring you a relaxed, enjoyable wine and food experience at their wine bar and eatery with the delicious Pinot Junction platters, pizzas and café style food and an ever increasing selection of Central Otago wines. They look forward to seeing you soon.


Otago Daily Times Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Purveyors of the region’s bounty By Shannon Thomson


The CO News - December 22, 2022

Cafe continues family tradition.

By Shannon Thomson.