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QTMAGAZINE SPRING 2017
MY MAGNIFIQUE VOYAGE
MY MAGNIFIQUE VOYAGE
MY MAGNIFIQUE VOYAGE
indulge in authentic french gastronomy
As the sun sets and the candles are lit, Left Bank Cafe’s romantic French soul is reborn into an elegant
French Bistro, offering decadent French dishes crafted from the freshest and finest ingredients.
There exists between growers
and producers of Pinot Noir an
unusual bond which transcends
commercial competition, language
and hemispheres. It unites them
in a fraternity based on their
common quest to unlock the secret
of their soils and sites and the
growing habits of this fickle and
unpredictable grape variety.
This Arthurian band includes consumers, equally
obsessed with the Pinot Holy Grail, and together
they meet with winemakers and wine merchants in
various locations around the world to taste, debate
and celebrate the elusiveness of Pinot perfection.
The most recent of these international gatherings
of pinotphiles was in Oregon in the United States
in July this year. The International Pinot Noir
Celebration (IPNC) held annually in McMinnville in
the heart of America’s Pinot country, has spawned
several similar events around the world, one of
them in Central Otago and another in Wellington.
Our local event was born in 2000 after several of us
had been to IPNC for the second or third time. We felt
the Oregon celebration was a winning formula from
many perspectives and so it proved to be for us.
Now, several hundred enthusiasts from all over
the world converge on Queenstown for the
Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration – the next is
scheduled for January 25-27 next year.
The 2018 event will continue our fraternal links
with Oregon, Burgundy and other leading Pinot
Noir producing regions around the world. Our
Grand Tasting will feature the wines of eight
leading Oregon producers, three of whom, Elk
Cove, Bergstrom and Rex Hill will be represented
by their winemakers. All of this alongside the
wines of 33 local producers and a programme of
seminars and winery visits.
A reciprocal team from Central Otago attended
IPNC in July to present wines from Rippon, Aurum,
Quartz Reef, Mount Edward, Prophet’s Rock, Wild
Irishman and Doctor ’s Flat. The wines were chosen
by American wine writer Elaine Chukan-Brown to
represent the history, soils and elevation, vintage
variation and stylistic range of this region. Elaine
will be back to chair the Oregon seminar at our
Another event of significance for this “Brotherhood
of Pinot” is the visit to Burgundy in October by a
delegation of Central Otago vignerons to celebrate
the tenth anniversary of a student exchange
programme between the two regions.
Over 80 young viticulturists and winemakers have
so far travelled on the programme which one of its
initiators, Nick Mills of Rippon Vineyard in Wanaka,
says has offered much to both sides.
“The Central Otago students gain insight from the
centuries of attention to specific vineyard sites,
how they have been codified and the enormous
history and respect for tradition they have in
Burgundy. Conversely, Burgundians come to
Central Otago and find a place that does not have
the detailed geographical and political overlays, so
is free of the sort of constraints they have grown
used to. In addition, the collaborative approach
of the youthful Central Otago wine region and its
band of young and developing winegrowers is also
found to be illuminating and inspiring.”
The delegation of producers and winemakers will
enjoy a harvest style lunch hosted by the noted
French vigneron Aubert de Villaine at his famous
domain Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.
There will be a tasting of Central Otago wines
at Chateau Clos Vougeot and a walk to the 11th
century Abbaye de Saint-Vivant where the
Benedictines first seeded the very notion of terroir
the belief held by many winemakers that wines
precisely reflect the soils and environmental
influences in which their vines grow.
CENTRAL OTAGO AND
By Wine Writer and Wine Producer Alan Brady
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