Explore your spirit region
The Pinot Noir grape has now found in New Zealand a home away from home. Though it wasn’t something that was planned. It was more a happy accident…
Historically Pinot Noir appears to have been planted in the North Island’s Wairarapa region as far back as 1883, but its lovechild life really didn’t kick off until a century later when kiwis were all about shoulder pads and Sylvaner, mullet haircuts and Müller Thurgau, leather ties and Liebestraum.
Looking for something beyond Blue Nun, a handful of families from the North and South decided to have a crack at Pinot Noir. Who knows? It could work.
By the late 1980s, local wine show accolades began rolling in. By 1991 gold medals followed in Australia, then London and talk of a potential new Pinot powerhouse began to trickle around the world.
It wasn’t Burgundy; it was a new southern belle, saturated with fruit and bursting with fresh spices, wrapped in an earthy, mineral-driven cloak of character that set it apart from everything, anywhere.
Twenty five years later New Zealand Pinot Noir has cemented its pedigree as a world class Pinot Noir producer with unprecedented pace. From Central Otago to North Canterbury, Nelson and Marlborough in the south, over the Cook Strait to Wairarapa and Central Hawke’s Bay in the north, any New Zealand wine lover will tell you; Pinot Noir is a crazy chance we’re glad we took.
Main image: Misha’s Vineyard, Tim Hawkins