The red wine of pinot noir remains the ultimate challenge to the winemaker.
The success achieved by New Zealand winemakers is notable in several regions: particularly Martinborough in the North
Island, and in the South Island, Marlborough, Nelson, North Canterbury and Central Otago.
Now, a number of the world’s leading wine commentators consider New Zealand to be close to posing a real threat to the
pinot noir monopoly enjoyed by the French for so long. Several commentators from the leading pinot noir producing
regions of the globe are coming to New Zealand for an international event – Pinot Noir 2001. They are coming for a
celebration, and will discover that New Zealand’s cuisine experience and hospitality matches the excellence of the
The Event Beginning
In early 1999, the leading New Zealand pinot noir wine producers formed a board to host a four-day international
celebration of pinot noir in Wellington in January 2001. The board of Pinot Noir 2001 includes the chairman of the
Tourism New Zealand Peter Allport and Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky.
The board’s vision, which grew out of discussions initiated at the annual South Island Pinot Noir Workshop, was to
create a forum, drawing together culinary, media, tourism and trade interests for the international tasting and
celebration of pinot noir.
It will be a non-competitive event showcasing New Zealand pinot noir to the world and focusing on the consumer rather
than the winegrower. The emphasis will be on the tasting and enjoyment of pinot noir as a complement to food.
Although this event is modelled on the annual international pinot noir celebration in Oregon, USA, the board has created
its own version with a series of public events to run alongside a four–day conference. It is the hope that Pinot Noir
will be celebrated every two years.
Support for the Event
The board has successfully gained support from the wine industry. More than 70 wineries will participate, including the
major wine companies.
More than 30 companies and organisations have signed up in a sponsorship role including Tourism and Trade New Zealand,
Wellington City Council and its visitor promotion arm, Totally Wellington.
The calibre of the speakers and panellists attending this event, together with world wide interest in ‘New World’ pinot
noir, has generated enormous international publicity for Pinot Noir 2001 and New Zealand pinot noir.
Pinot Noir 2001 Board Members
Richard Riddiford (chairman) Palliser Estate Wines
Peter Allport Tourism New Zealand
Mark Blumsky Mayor of Wellington Mark Blumsky
Alan Brady Mount Edward Winery
Michael Brajkovich Kumeu River Wines
Philip Gregan Wine Institute of New Zealand
James Healy Cloudy Bay
Richard Janes Company Director
Dawn McCallum Dry River Wines
Larry McKenna The Escarpment Vineyard
Phyll Pattie Ata Rangi
Verve Consulting Limited
PO Box 19 105
Tel: 04-385 1458
Tel: 04-476 4539