Last weekend Larry and Huw attended the Southern Pinot Noir Workshop, now in its 25th year. Larry was involved in setting up the workshop 26 years ago, inspired by the Steamboat Pinot Noir Conference in Oregon USA http://www.steamboatpinot.com/
The Southern Pinot Noir Workshop is an annual technical workshop that brings together winegrowers from New Zealand and the rest of the world for an in-depth look at the variety Pinot Noir. http://www.pinotworkshop.org.nz
Over the course of the 4-day retreat presentations are made and barrel samples are evaluated during formal tasting sessions with the sole purpose of understanding more about the variety.
During the morning sessions we looked at barrel samples from the 2015 vintage, which showed 2015 is another strong year. The producers seem to be picking earlier with ripe flavours, resulting in wines that are balanced and not showing excessive alcohol, which is great news for NZ Pinot Noir.
The afternoons are reserved for leisure time (you can’t taste wine all day!) which include fishing, mountain biking, golf, walking or just plain sleeping, depending on the night before. It ensures great comradery and a great time is had by all!
It has been pivotal in New Zealand’s greater understanding of the variety and the enthusiasm the wine style has been generating.