Sam Neill to Open Pinot Noir NZ 2013

Press Release: 5 March 5 2012


Sam Neill, winemaker, movie god and raconteur will open Pinot Noir NZ 2013 in Wellington next year, Chairman of the Board behind the event, Alastair Maling MW, announced as he opened registrations for the event.

“Sam was our first choice and we’re tickled pink because he’ll set the tone of “serious fun” over the four day event.”

Star of movies such as Jurassic Park, Dean Spanley and Reilly Ace of Spies, New Zealand born Sam established Pinot Noir producer Two Paddocks in Central Otago.

“The quality of Two Paddocks wine and his attachment to it, make Sam an optimistic man. He is inclined to see the glass in his right hand as never half empty, by the simple expedient of ensuring his left hand always holds a full bottle,” says Alastair.

“Sam gets his hands dirty and we’re trying to uncover the real work behind New Zealand’s fantastic Pinot Noirs which have beguiled the world.”

Pinot Noir NZ 2013 is the fifth such wine event and it has been called “one of the world’s most impressive wine events”.

“While we still set out to impress the look and feel is “kiwi laid back elegance” and we hope to engage our visitors with challenging talk, memorable food and of course unbeatable New Zealand Pinots,” Alastair says.

Registrations for Pinot Noir NZ 2013 are now open.

“This is exciting stuff. We have set up four days of Pinot workshops focusing on our five major Pinot regions and asking people to unearth the stories from the people behind our world class Pinot Noirs.”

Speakers already confirmed include Jasper Morris MW, Matt Kramer, Lisa Perotti Brown MW and Australia’s Mike Bennie.

More than 100 New Zealand Pinot producers have signed up to show their wares in Wellington from 28th – 31st January.

The first Pinot Noir Event was held in 2001. It was set up by a group of dedicated Pinot Noir producers (under the chairmanship of Richard Riddiford of Palliser Estate) to explore and celebrate the grape in New Zealand.

Held every three years in Wellington, Pinot Noir NZ has established a dedicated audience throughout the world and previous attendees include Jancis Robinson MW, Allen Meadows, Tim Atkin MW, Oz Clarke and James Halliday.

Ruth Pretty Catering has always pulled together a culinary programme including the very best Wellington restaurants using New Zealand’s finest produce.

The event is supported by New Zealand Winegrowers who regard it as a hero event in the New Zealand wine calendar.

CEO Philip Gregan says Pinot Noir NZ is a springboard for overseas visitors to experience the whole of the New Zealand wine story as they often continue their New Zealand trip to absorb other regions and grape varieties.

For more information visit or contact:

Alastair Maling MW, Chairman, Pinot Noir NZ 2013

For registration enquiries contact

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