Plumb­ing depths of cher­ished drop

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Del­e­gates toasted the open­ing of the 10th Pinot Noir Celebration in Queen­stown last week with a mas­ter class in Cen­tral Otago’s best-known grape. A three-day celebration with at least 40 of the re­gion’s wine producers started with a mas­ter­class in Cen­tral Otago sub re­gions and the sub­tle dif­fer­ences de­pend­ing on the prove­nance of pinot noir. Del­e­gates were given sam­ples of 2012 pinot noirs and an overview of the re­gion’s pro­duce. Fel­ton Rd wine­maker Blair Wal­ter said there were dis­tinc­tive as­pects within sub re­gions and Cen­tral Otago gen­er­ally had high sun­shine hours, high ul­tra­vi­o­let ex­po­sure, low rain­fall and low hu­mid­ity. Sub re­gion al­ti­tudes changed the wines and some vine­yards now had vines planted in the 1990s. ‘‘So we have vines over 20 years old, not huge but enough to un­der­stand what it means [for the wine].’’ Wine writer Bob Camp­bell said he hes­i­tated to use the word but so­phis­ti­cated was the most apt de­scrip­tive for Cen­tral Otago pinot noir. ‘‘It smacks of con­fi­dence, they are con­fi­dent wines. They’re not be­gin­ner wines, they show to me a great deal of thought and ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Photo: JOHN EDENS 628901636

Grape Grower: Ac­tor Sam Neill at the Cen­tral Otago Pinot Noir Celebration.

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