THE Pinot Noir Celebration Australia on the Mornington Peninsula last weekend (10 and 11 February) had a global focus, with around 33 Australian and international scientists, sommeliers, journalists, growers, makers, market analysts and CEOs presenting, and events scheduled to continue overseas into March.
The peninsula is one of the largest pinot noir growing regions in the country and comprising half of all grape plantings.
Chair of the Pinot Noir Celebration Australia Martin Spedding said it was important for the Australian pinot noir community to keep its gaze above the horizon, and to shape a collective conversation about the quality of Australian pinot noir wine and the way Australian wines are being made.
“Our reputation around the world is growing and you see that reflected in the wines we export,” he said.
“These events are a celebration of the success of our wines, our vineyard sites and yet still the potential of what Australia can do”.
The event was hosted by AFR drinks journalist Max Allen, who guided the audience through six sessions and tasting selections on day one, spanning questions of custodianship and the environment to market influences of style and value, as well as the relevance of stories and sites to the choices people make when selecting pinot noir wines.
The second day included more personal discovery options with small group workshops and seminars investigating topics such as soil and vine health, sensory tastes of terroir, fermentation vessels, robotics and culinary experiences.
The local presentations and tastings coincided with media and trade tastings hosted in person and online by Matthew Jukes in London, David Glancy at the San Francisco Wine School for the US and Canada, UK journalist Guy Woodward at the Australian ambassador’s residence in Denmark and Singapore-based sommelier and wine writer Richard Hemming.
Some of the industry leaders who participated included Wine Australia chair Dr Michele Allan, who gave the opening address, and keynote speaker and German-born pinot noir enthusiast Anne Krebiehl. US climatologist Dr Greg Jones spoke about the influences of climate on grape growing and what that meant for the wine industry’s future; Indigenous Alaskan wine writer and educator Elaine Chukan Brown; and Waitrose wine buyer Rebecca Hull.