Rippon winegrower Nick Mills is helping Burgundy achieve
World Heritage status. Photo by Mark Price.
Central Otago pinot noir winegrowers are lending
colleagues in the Burgundy region of France a hand to lobby the
New Zealand Government.
Burgundy has set its sights on achieving Unesco World
Heritage status and must show the region has relevance and
To help its case, the Burgundy region is sending a delegation
of three to Wellington later this month, seeking Prime
Minister John Key's signature on a letter explaining the
value New Zealand has derived from its relationship with
Wanaka winegrower Nick Mills is organising the visit,
believing what is good for Burgundy will also be good for
He told the Otago Daily Times yesterday the two pinot
noir regions competed against other wine varieties but not
against each other and the regions had been hosting
educational and cultural exchanges since 2006.
Pinot noir has a 25-year history in Central Otago but a
2000-year history in Burgundy and Mr Mills said Central Otago
had adopted many of the techniques developed in Burgundy.
''It's a sort of cultural seed that has floated its way
around the planet, pretty much as far as it can go before it
starts coming home again, and germinated itself here in
Mr Mills said the delegation included the world's leading
figure in pinot noir production, Aubert de Villaine of
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, and he would have the chance to
see how the seed of pinot noir production from Burgundy had
taken root in Central Otago.
By supporting Burgundy in its application to Unesco, the New
Zealand Government would be ''celebrating and allowing
Central Otago to be celebrated under the same auspices'', Mr
A letter of support from the Government would be ''validating
everything we are trying to do down here as well'', he said.
Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey
said in a statement an ''immense depth'' of knowledge,
tradition and culture had been offered by Burgundy to Central
''We're delighted to support their world heritage bid.
''Their win is also ours.''
After attending a reception in Wellington on January 26, the
delegation will travel to Central Otago.
A reciprocal event is planned in Burgundy in October.