Pinot Palooza highlights & 3 things you need to know about New Zealand Pinot Noir

Pinot Palooza AucklandPinot Palooza Auckland

Pinot Palooza came to town last Saturday and it’s fair to say that the first New Zealand event in Auckland was a great success. With over 150 wines from 6 New Zealand regions on offer, it was the perfect Pinot party.

With so many great Pinots around it was a good idea to have a bit of a tasting plan to avoid being overwhelmed aka trollied. Genie from Bunny Eats Design went with Pinot Pinball which is a great idea – but at events like that you could also simply taste wines from A-Z, although you probably won’t make it past G to be honest, sample wines by region or focus on the wines from the wineries you haven’t heard from before.

Knowing a few facts about what you’re tasting also makes it easier to get a better feel for a varietal, style or region, so here are 3 things you need to know about New Zealand Pinot Noir that found a home away from home in New Zealand:

3 things you need to know about New Zealand Pinot Noir

1 | Pinot Noir is the second most planted varietal in New Zealand
While Sav is still leading the way by miles (21,000 ha), New Zealand Pinot Noir ranks second in terms of overall plantings (5,500ha) and it’s certainly receiving a lot of international kudos and attention these days as well.

2 | Marlborough produces the majority of New Zealand Pinot Noir
I bet this comes as a surprise for many. While cult regions like Central Otago and Martinborough probably spring to mind first when thinking about New Zealand Pinot Noir, these regions only rank second and third respectively in terms of New Zealand’s total Pinot production.

3 | New Zealand Pinot Noir has distinct regional styles
Climate is a key factor when it comes to regional styles, so it’s no surprise that New Zealand Pinot Noirs also vary between their key growing regions:

  • Marlborough: Aromatic, fruit forward, bright red fruit
  • Central Otago: Fragrant, earthy, deep black fruit
  • Martinborough: Savoury, herbaceous, spicy, ripe dark fruit

I went with the regional tasting approach at Pinot Palooza and focused on the wineries I haven’t heard of or tried before.

And here are my top 3 Pinots of the day:

Mount Edward Central Otago Pinot Noir

Mature Central Otago Maestro
Mount Edward Morrison Vineyard 2011 | Central Otago

Stone Cutter Martinborough Pinot Noir

New Kid on the Block
Stone Cutter Pinot Noir 2013 | Martinborough

Te Whare Ra Marlborough Pinot Noir

Boutique Biodynamic Batch
Te Whare Ra SV5182 Pinot Noir 2013 | Marlborough

If you missed Pinot Palooza, don’t despair, the next event has already been confirmed and will be held in Wellington on the 30th of January 2017.

And if you’re a passionate Pinot lover and totally want to geek out you can also sign-up to Pinot Noir NZ 2017 here.


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