Christchurch hosts Pinot Noir NZ for first time in its 20-year history

A 115-strong collective of New Zealand Pinot Noir producers are bringing their international celebration to Christchurch for the first time in 2021, shining the global spotlight on one of New Zealand’s most exciting wines.

World famous Pinot Noir celebration hits the South Island

Pinot Noir NZ’s spectacular three-day celebration is held every four years and is widely considered to be one of the best Pinot Noir events on the planet. The last event was held in 2017, a sell-out event on Wellington’s waterfront hosting international wine luminaries like Jancis Robinson, Andrea Frost and Elaine Chukan Brown, with Andrea Frost describing New Zealand as “one of the most dynamic and exciting Pinot Noir regions on earth”.

Pinot Noir 2021 builds on this legacy, aiming to see New Zealand Pinot makers recognised as international thought leaders, and spark increased demand for New Zealand wine. The celebration attracts some of the greatest international minds on the subject of Pinot Noir – from visionaries and industry leaders, through to enthusiasts – and 2021 promises to deliver another aspirational and thought-provoking programme.

Pinot Noir 2021 Co-Chair Helen Masters, winemaker at Ata Rangi, Martinborough, and NZ Winemaker of the Year 2019 says, “the New Zealand wine industry is becoming mature and confident, comfortable about who we are and how we talk about ourselves. New Zealand’s continual innovation in grape growing, winemaking and industry-wide sustainability attracts great interest on the world stage.”

Co-Chair Penelope Naish of Black Estate, North Canterbury adds: “The event’s also about having fun – it’s time to celebrate the true greatness of NZ Pinot Noir, and showcase New Zealand’s incredible food, entertainment and people. The 2017 event was the most inspiring wine event I’d attended, so I’m thrilled to be involved in shaping Pinot Noir 2021. We’re going all out to make it the best one yet. Whether you’re an expert or an enthusiast, this is a celebration that you won’t want to miss”.

Brand-new venues and a new brand

For the first time in its 20-year history, the event will be hosted in Christchurch, in venues across the central city. The committee are planning a celebration of Pinot Noir that spills out into the city, with events for Cantabrians and visitors, as well as a memorable programme for guests from around the world. A new brand has also been introduced for Pinot Noir 2021, giving it a fresh look and feel.

Loren Heaphy, ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Destination and Attraction, said events like Pinot Noir 2021 bring “so much value to Christchurch, both economically and culturally”.

Heaphy said: “We are delighted to have secured this event for our city, and we welcome with open arms the world’s wine community. Christchurch sits at the heart of the South Island, which produces some of the best wine in the world, and we are looking forward to showcasing our region to international wine influencers and sommeliers.”

Helen Masters explained “The committee considered a number of venues for Pinot Noir 2021, but Christchurch really stood out for its energy and collaborative approach. It’s a fascinating city, the speed with which it’s evolving makes it an extraordinary destination for our guests to explore. It’s also a natural mid-point for our Pinot Noir growing regions in the North and South islands. Following the appalling terrorist attack in Christchurch on Friday 15 March, we’re even more committed to showing our support for the city.”

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For more information or additional imagery, please contact:
Rachael Fletcher, Executive Officer, Pinot Noir 2021
+64 272 612 998

About Pinot Noir NZ

Pinot Noir 2021 will run from 23rd to the 25th of February. Pinot Noir NZ was established in 2001 to bring the world of Pinot Noir to New Zealand by creating an experience to showcase everything unique about growing Pinot in Aotearoa. Pinot Noir 2021 will be the sixth Pinot Noir NZ gathering, and marks the 20th anniversary of the organisation. The four-yearly Pinot Noir NZ celebrations are now widely regarded as the best Pinot Noir events on the planet. The scale and scope of the gathering has grown steadily, from 100 wines at the inaugural event, to 117 wineries bringing over 600 wines to 500 international industry influencers in 2017. New Zealand wine is exported to more than 90 countries, with total exports reaching $1.7 billion in 2018.

The Pinot Noir 2021 team includes:

  • Helen Masters (Co-Chair) – Winemaker, Ata Rangi
  • Penelope Naish (Co-Chair) – General Manager, Black Estate
  • Natalie Christensen – Senior Winemaker, Yealands
  • Paul Donaldson – General Manager, Pegasus Bay
  • Aaron Drummond – General Manager, Craggy Range
  • Rosie Finn – Marketing and Sales Director, Neudorf
  • Alistair King – Accountant, Crowe Horwath
  • Wilco Lam – Winemaker, Dry River
  • Nick Mills – Winemaker, Rippon
  • Paul Pujol – General Manager and Winemaker, Prophets Rock
  • Mark Shaw – Director, Social Guy
  • Chris Yorke – Global Marketing Director, New Zealand Winegrowers.

Download images here: Pinot Noir 2017 Highlights

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