Author(s): John Saker
Pinot Noir is a phenomenon - a global cult has developed around it over the last couple of decades - perhaps because its personality is hard to pin down. Often described as an iron fist in a velvet glove, its contradictions evoke a great deal of discussion, debate and passion. Cult membership rose steeply in the wake of the hit movie Sideways, released in 2004. The obsession of the film's hopelessly Pinot-struck leading male, Miles, rubbed off on cinema audiences everywhere, inducing an upward swing in demand that came to be known as the 'Sideways effect'. AC Neilsen reported that in the US alone, sales of Pinot Noir rose 45% during the year following the film's release. New Zealand is now a dominant player in the Pinot Noir world, and the pace of this growth has been little short of staggering. In the space of a couple of decades the country became a South Pacific stronghold for the grape and its attendant culture. Importantly, it showed that the local industry wasn't a one-trick pony, based around Marlborough's vast holding pens of Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir - Burgundy's demanding, delicate, revered red grape - has added a new layer of sophistication to New Zealand wine. This is the story of the grape and its history in New Zealand, lavishly illustrated with beautiful photography by award-winner Aaron McLean. About the author: John Saker is the NZ wine writer for Cuisine magazine and the author of How to drink a glass of wine.
John Saker is the NZ wine writer for Cuisine magazine and the author of How to drink a glass of wine.