Image taken from Chud.com
Thursday is a big day in the Twitterverse, as wine lovers all over the world will be participating in the #Pinotnoir Twitter tasting event. There are corresponding real world events being held in locations around the US, from Atlanta, to Boston, to Lubbock..., that's in Texas, for those not in the know. Lubbock is also the home of yours truly, and I'm really excited about the selection of Pinot noirs that we will have available at the tasting. As of right now, we have some really great Willamette Valley Pinots in the mix, as well as some wine from Carneros, and even a Spätburgunder from Germany.
Although Pinot noir is a notoriously finicky grape, there are locations spread around the globe that are producing top notch Pinot noir. I was fortunate enough to get to spend some time in one of the top Pinot regions in the US recently, Oregon's Willamette Valley. This post isn't about that though. It is about the wines being produced in the land of the kiwi.
New Zealand's profile as a top wine region has really been on the ascension for a while now. Many still primarily associate the area with the standout Sauvignon Blanc wines that are being produced, but the country has been developing a reputation for some high quality Pinot noir as well.
Pinot noir has only been grown in New Zealand since the mid 1970s, starting in the Aukland region, located in the Northern portion of the country, and then finding greater distinction in Martinborough and in Central Otago. New Zealand has not typically been known for their red wines in the past; their climate has never been especially conducive to growing them. Pinot noir has been the one notable exception to this rule. The New Zealand Pinot noir wines generally tend to be more fruit forward examples of the variety, although there are some complex and earthy examples being produced as well, especially some of the higher end wines from Martinborough. In either case, New Zealand has distinguished itself as one of the few quality Pinot noir regions in the world.
I hope that you all will be able to join us for the #Pinotnoir event this Thursday, July 15th. All you need is an internet connection, a Twitter account, and at least one Pinot noir wine to participate. For more information, check out the Eventbrite page. If you have the opportunity, I would definitely recommend trying to track down some wines from different regions so that you can get contrast the different styles of wine that are being produced in the different areas. The variation between Pinot noir made in different countries, and even between different regions within the same country, is truly fascinating.
And, just for good measure, I leave you with this clip from New Zealand's other great export.