Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of wine-producing estate Domaine
de la Romanée-Conti, has been invited to attend the Central
Otago pinot noir 10th anniversary celebration in Queenstown
as the leader of a delegation seeking recognition of
Burgundy's vineyards as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The expected presence of Mr de Villaine had Central Otago
winemakers buzzing with excitement, Jen Parr, of Terra
Sancta, Bannockburn, and chairwoman of the celebration in
January 2014, said yesterday.
''Aubert de Villaine is a tremendous inspiration to us all
and his desire to visit Central Otago and participate in our
signature event is an incredible way to mark our 10th
celebration and is a great testament to how far Central Otago
has come in the international pinot noir community in such a
short space of time.''
Wanaka winegrower Nick Mills, of Rippon, who worked at
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in 2002, said Mr de Villaine was
''one of the most erudite, articulate and respected figures
in the wine industry, yet what strikes you most, and almost
immediately, about his character is the warmth and humility
with which he approaches his craft and the people around
English wine publication Decanter awarded Mr de Villaine the
''Man of the Year'' award in 2010. Domaine de la
Romanée-Conti makes some of the world's rarest and most
expensive wines, including La Romanée-Conti itself and La
Tâche. La Romanée-Conti is considered to be Burgundy's
About 40 Central Otago producers will be opening their pinot
noirs and telling their stories over the three days of the
pinot celebration from January 30 to February 1. While the
celebration is based in Queenstown, participants will also
visit wineries and restaurants in Amisfield, Wanaka,
Bannockburn, Cromwell and Alexandra.