Pinot Noir Day

Not that you need an excuse, International Pinot Noir Day on 18th August is the perfect day to celebrate NZ’s top red wine variety.

The History of NZ Pinot

The Pinot Noir grape originates from Burgundy, where it is thought to be over 1000 years old. But through a twist of fate, Pinot Noir has found a new lease on life in New Zealand.

Pinot Noir was first planted in the Wairarapa region as far back as 1883. Things didn’t really kick off until a century later, and by the late 1980s, local wine show accolades began rolling in. By the 1990s, gold medals were won in Australia, then London and murmurings of a potential new Pinot powerhouse began travelling around the world. 

And the rest of the world has discovered it too. There has been impressive growth in export sales of New Zealand Pinot Noir in the last five years, with nearly 1.5 million cases exported in 2018. As any New Zealand wine lover will tell you; Pinot Noir is a chance we’re glad we took.

It’s staggering how quickly New Zealand has built a reputation for quality Pinot Noir considering the first commercial bottling of Pinot Noir in the country was in 1987.

Ray Jordan
Pinot Noir grapes being poured

Pinot Places

Pinot has established itself as Central Otago’s flagship variety and it flourishes there, as extreme climate rewards careful site selection with wines of great intensity, sophistication and reputation. 

Pinot Noir is New Zealand wine’s second-biggest variety in terms of production, with the majority grown in Marlborough and Central Otago. This year we recorded over 5,653 ha of prime for-the-picking Pinot. The difference in our climate is a major factor in defining regional styles, with Pinot Noir having a host of different flavours based on where it’s come from.

From Central Otago to North Canterbury, Nelson and Marlborough in the south, over to Wairarapa and Central Hawke’s Bay in the north, our winemakers produce a dramatic and distinctive array of styles, driven from the land.

All regions in New Zealand are turning out seriously interesting Pinot Noir.

Jamie Goode

Enjoy With

Pinot Noir is easy to please when it comes to pairing with food. It is light enough for salmon or chicken, but complex enough to complement richer red or game meats. When everyone orders a vastly different meal while dining, Pinot Noir will probably make everyone happy.

A large round bell-shaped glass is perfect to serve Pinot, as it collects the delicate aromas of the wine.

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to distinctive reds: New Zealand Pinot Noir. If you haven’t tried one yet, now’s the time.

MaryAnn Worobiec

Love NZ Pinot Noir!

Get behind New Zealand wine and share how much you #lovenzpinot on the 18th of August.

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