World-leading wine event coming to Christchurch

Christchurch is set to hold Pinot Noir 2021, a gathering of the world’s Pinot Noir community.

The varied valleys of North Canterbury, the continental climate of Central Otago, the alluvial soils of Marlborough – the South Island is one of the best wine-growing regions in the world, deservedly attracting the world’s wine drinkers throughout the seasons.

The quadrennial event was established in 2001, bringing together the biggest wine influencers from around the world to discuss, taste, and banter. The last instalment was held in Wellington in 2017.

The Christchurch event will be the first time it has been held outside of Wellington. Running over three days between 23-25 February 2021, the event will be designed to entertain both attendees and the city as a whole, as the world’s wine community congregates.

Pinot Noir 2021 co-chair Helen Masters, winemaker at Ata Rangi in Martinborough, said a number of locations were considered for the event, the committee settling on Christchurch for its “energy and collaborative approach”.

“It’s a fascinating city, the speed with which it’s evolving makes it an extraordinary destination for our guests to explore,” Masters said. She was recently named 2019 NZ Winemaker of the Year.

“Christchurch is also a natural mid-point for our Pinot Noir growing regions in the North and South islands.”

The event is designed to affirm New Zealand winemakers as international leaders, while also increasing demand for local wines.

“New Zealand’s continual innovation in grape growing, winemaking and industry-wide sustainability attracts great interest on the world stage,” she said.

Loren Heaphy, ChristchurchNZ general manager of destination and attraction, said events like Pinot Noir 2021 bring both economic and cultural value to Christchurch.

“We are delighted to have secured this event for our city, and we welcome with open arms the world’s wine community,” Heaphy said. “We are looking forward to showcasing our region to international wine influencers and sommeliers.”