A visit by French winegrowers from Burgundy is expected to
endorse Central Otago's reputation as an international
producer of quality pinot noir.
''The Climats of Burgundy'' delegation, led by Aubert de
Villaine of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, presented its case
to the New Zealand Government yesterday to support a
nomination for the Burgundy region to be listed as a Unesco
World Heritage Site.
The delegation will now spend five days in Queenstown,
culminating in the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration from
January 30 to February 1.
Wanaka winegrower and visit organiser Nick Mills, of Rippon,
said the visit would include a winegrowers' seminar, a
masterclass tasting for growers, a grand tasting, where
Central Otago winegrowers present their 2012 pinot noir
vintage, and a formal tasting and discussion of six wines
sent by the Climats of Burgundy delegation.
There would also be lunches at a range of wineries and
restaurants, a formal dinner and charity auction at Skyline
restaurant and a visit to the Otago Polytechnic campus in
Cromwell, which is the region's viticultural institute.
Mr Mills said the ''long and important connection'' between
Burgundy and Central Otago has resulted in about 40 interns -
the next generation of winemakers from Burgundy - studying
here and returning to France with progressive ideas.
Celebration chairwoman Jen Parr, of Terra Sancta,
Bannockburn, said: ''The greater understanding of our unique
climate and our vineyards, gained from increased knowledge
and experience over this period has helped Central Otago
achieve great consistency of character and quality in our
''These views will be discussed at the four-day celebration
and shared with the Burgundian delegation.''