We recently participated in the Pinot Noir 2010 conference, also in attendance was John Hawskby who had this to say in the Canvas magazine from the Weekend Herald March 20th 2010 edition.
“Feting the next big thing
More than 500 people, including some of the world’s most revered wine writers, 107 New Zealand wineries, 6500 wine pours per day, copious words, copious tasting, lots of swirling, sipping and spitting, lots of exuberant debate and way to much food.
This was Pinot Noir 2010, a four day celebration and focus on the alluring, captivating and majestic grape that is on a fast tracjectory to becoming our next big thing. The key theme was set out by the chairman, Alastair Maling MW, “to capture what is very topical to New Zealand pinot…regionality, ageability, sustainability and branding.”
The event was deemed significant enough to have Prime Minsiter John Key open the conference and, given the value, volume and international reputation of our boutique wine industry (and as a discerning wine drinker himself), it seemed entirely appropriate.
Distinguished overseas guests, including Oz Clarke, Andrew Jefford, Tim Atkin, Simon Tam, Leslie Sbrocco and Matthew Jukes, were suitably impressed. Their observations and those of local wine impresarios marched to the beat of the same drummer.
“The brand is owned by your customers, not you,” reminded Felton Road’s Nigel Greening, “Never overstress, pinot’s a luxury market, one less bottle is demand – one bottle to many is a glut.”
Englishman Andrew Jefford, who brings an intellectual rigour to his writings, said, “You’ve got to capture the promiscuous drinkers, people who drink whatever from whereever, so the back label is incredibly important, they want to know.”
He reminded us all: “Pinot is an individual’s choice, it’s sensual and cerebral – the ballet dancer and the poet, it is the aristocrat and brings with it a degree of religious purity.”
“Educate, educate, educate,” implored Simon Tam, a highly specialised cross cultural consultant with a thorough understanding of the Chinese palate.
Craggy Range supremo Steve Smith emphasised the pursuit of excellence and value and developing new markets: “More sweat in planning, less blood in battle.”
There was universal agreement on what makes great pinot noir – beauty complexity, romance, subtlety and integrity.”
John Hawsby also had this to say about our 2007 Mountford Estate Pinot Noir:
“from vines first planted in 1991 comes a stunning Waipara estate-grown and made-on-the-spot pinot. Traditional Burgundian techniques work wonders, thanks to the considerable skill of Taiwan-born winemaker Chung Pin Lin. One of New Zealand’s top pinots.”