Pinot Noir

Intense, expressive, fruit-driven. Old World structure and elegance meets New World power and intensity.

Native to Burgundy and notoriously fickle (it is world class only in coolclimate regions), the Pinot Noir grape has found in New Zealand a home away from home. Our winemakers tease a tantalising array of distinctive regional and terroir-driven styles from the land. Common to all, however, are Old World structure and elegance overlaying New World power and fruit-driven intensity.

  • Pinot noir is predominantly grown in the cooler southerly regions. The huge diversity in climates and soils enables a wide range of styles from the six main Pinot producing regions.
  • Since the 1990s, plantings have expanded throughout all regions in the South Island and also in a few selected sites in the North Island.
  • Pinot Noir is now second only to Sauvignon Blanc in production volume, with major plantings in six key regions.
  • There has been impressive growth in export sales of New Zealand Pinot Noir in the last five years, with 10.9 million litres exported in the 12 months to June year-end 2015.

36 8% 6%

Food Matching

The supple richness of New Zealand Pinot Noir complements a range of savoury dishes. Try it alongside game birds such as quail, turkey, and duck; with a fillet of New Zealand salmon; or equally with pork, veal, lamb or venison.


  • Game Birds
  • Pork & Ham


  • Cream
  • Garlic
  • Tomato


  • Savoury

Cellaring & Serving

2-5 years

Serving Temperature



Typical regional styles

Climate is the major factor in the distinction of regional styles.

HAWKE'S BAY: Varietal aromatics of cherry, berry fruits, plum, florals and spice, through to more savoury and earthy examples, all with beautifully soft and supple tannins and great richness of flavour.

WAIRARAPA: Darker fruit aromas, often with a savoury component. Rich, full, sweet fruit on the entry with flavours in the dark plum and chocolate spectrum. The structure of the wines are based around long, fine tannins.

NELSON: Fragrant, complex, earthy and savoury textured wines with rich, spicy, cherry and plum flavours. These wines are concentrated, balanced and supple with fine lingering tannin.

MARLBOROUGH: Red fruit spectrum aromatically and bright raspberry, cherry and plums on the palate. Wines typically have a freshness from subtle acidity that is complemented by their linear structure and even tannin backbone. The Southern Valleys tend to produce fuller bodied wines.

CANTERBURY & WAIPARA VALLEY: Red and dark berry fruit with spicy notes. Firm structure and acidity. Savoury earthy characteristics.

CENTRAL OTAGO: Gibbston Valley district has sweet, soft, upfront fruitiness with flavours of raspberry, strawberries and fresh herbs and spicy notes. The warmer Bannockburn and Lowburn areas produce fuller, more tannic wines with cherries and dark fruit. Undertones of dried thyme is most prevalent in Pinots from Alexandra.

Planting data

Plantings per Region (2014)


Overall plantings in the last 12 years





SOURCE: New Zealand Winegrower's Vineyard Register Report & Annual Report

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