Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir 2017, what’s it all about? ‘A lot’ is the simple answer and there is just so much to talk about. So here goes, a series then of blogs all about Pinot Noir 2017, naturally starting at the beginning. The event itself was first held in 2001, the brainchild of the late Richard Riddiford and, Mr Pinot Noir himself, Larry McKenna. It’s a three-day conference all about Pinot Noir, open for all to come along with a very high proportion of trade there from NZ and abroad.

Those from abroad were generally hosted by NZ Wine Growers in what is one of the best pieces of Marketing for NZ in any sector. Our International guests were treated to a world class conference that is rightly referred to as the best Pinot Noir event on the Planet. An Aromatic Symposium before and a Classic NZ Red weekend in the bay after, together with an Air NZ flight over the NZ wine regions with MW Bob Campbell as the head steward and guide. How could they not go away spreading NZ wine love to all corners of the world.

The three days started with a welcome at the Wellington Opera house and an enlightening discussion centred around ‘our place’. Our Tūrangawaewae the overarching theme to the morning and a welcome break from how a Pinot conference would usually start, with far too much discussion of terroir. In fact, the absence of reference to Burgundy was a welcome change and one that has been a long time coming. It is a little of a bug bear with me that we stand up and talk about our wines and reference them as ‘this is my Bordeaux blend’ or ‘my Burgundy’. We are not in France; we grow grapes and make wine in one of the most amazing countries in the world and need to be more proud of what we do. I then was delighted the conference started this way and more so continued throughout the week with this theme. Off my soap box now and back to Pinot 2017.

On the three consecutive mornings we were presented an array of fascinating discussions and concepts (more on these in the following blogs). Each afternoon was then given over to a Pinot Noir road trip, mine started with Marlborough and once again reconfirmed for me how underrated Marlborough Pinot Noir is. For me there were many great wines in that afternoon tasting, a few that did stand out. Fromm – I’ve always loved Fromm Pinot Noir and was excited to try their new wine H. Named

after winemaker Hatsch, it is a blend of five of their single vineyard wines and their new flagship wine. The quality is, as expected, exceptional and a wine worth seeking out. Jules Taylor had her 2015 Pinot Noir there; the perfume was enthralling, jumping out of the glass to greet you. Touching base with Jules, I enquired as to whether there was anything different in her winemaking this year? She shrugged ‘not really, it’s what the vintage gave’. A superb wine and a clear reflection of the 2015 vintage which became evident as I tasted around the room.


Pinot Noir NZ 2013

At the end of January, Wellington plays host to the fifth NZ Pinot Noir Celebration. An amazing event, which I am very much looking forward to attending. This event started in 2001, when a group of winemakers decided to put their Pinot Noir (and the whole countries Pinot Noir)  forward for a critical review of sorts. This event now occurs every three years and has become a must do for those serious about wine around the world.

Glengarry were the retail partner for the 2010 event and are thrilled to be associated with this event as the Retail Partner for 2013. We see it as a very important association and a way that we can support our local industry. In 2010 it was an inspirational four days of tasting, seminars, lots of great food and it goes without saying, superb Pinot Noir and the 2013 event is shaping up to reach new heights.

For the 2013 event, which starts on Auckland Anniversary day -28th January, there are 112 wineries participating. The first three days are dedicated to exploring 5 key regions and reviewing them in depth, 300 wines will be tasted and discussed. A host of winemakers will be on hand, passionately presenting their regions and ensuring we are well versed in its virtues. As well as our local industry stars, an impressive collection of international speakers have been secured by Pinot noir 2013’s proactive board, who are chaired by Villa Maria Group’s Head Winemaker – Alastair mailing MW.  The International Guests include Jasper Morris MW, Tim Atkins MW, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Emmanuel L.T. Bourguignon and Ned Goodwin MW. To get things underway, the initial address and Welcome will be from NZ actor and wine grower- Sam Neill.

The final day of this event is going to be amazing, there’s a Grand Burgundy Tasting followed by a NZ Pinot Noir Grand Tasting. Then to finish the whole event off – a party on the Wellington waterfront. I will be joined in Wellington by Jak Jakicevich, Regan McCafferey and Meredith Parkin, you’ll be able to follow the event here, on as we blog our way around it and update you real time via twitter . You can also join us there in person – there is a public tasting on Wednesday 30th January – details here .