Of all the red grapes widely planted in the modern world pinot is regarded as the most difficult to grow well, and the most demanding in terms of knowledge and craftsmanship from which to coax a fine wine.
In spite of that it can make the most sublime, exquisite and expensive reds in the world. It’s natural home is Burgundy in France. Many wines from there are breathtakingly beautiful to taste but out of reach for anyone who has not had a good (make that excellent) day at the races.
The Domaine Romanée Conti sits at the top. Its wines can command thousands of dollars a bottle on release and many times more for well-cellared examples from exceptional vintages. Over centuries of striving they have come close to producing perfection in a wine.
In other countries some newer districts are eager to catch up. Occasional flashes suggest they may sometime match the greatest. The USA’s California and Oregon, NZ’s Central Otago and Australia’s Victoria and Tasmania are showing steady promise.
Great pinots can never be cheap and you will have to pay to enjoy the finest. But along the way you may find many you can afford, ranging from pleasantly enjoyable to surprisingly interesting, even one day breathtaking.
A singular red
It is a grape worth pursuing. It is often the first red adopted by confirmed white wine drinkers. It wines are often described as feminine, as opposed to the sturdiness of shiraz or the firmness of cabernet. Words like “perfumed”, “lingering,” “soft” and “delicious” attempt to capture the delicacy and drinkability of its red fruits. But it is by no means a lightweight. The better examples can fill the mouth with power and persistence.
That’s good, because we have Pinot Palooza – the happy gathering of ruby delights pouring our way. The idea is to encourage one and all to become pinotophiles, if only for a day.
A young festival growing mightily
Organizer, Dan Sims, Director of Bottle Shop Concepts, says, “It’s incredible to think we’re five years old. From the first, crazy one in 2012, it has been amazing to see the interest in and around the event grow and grow each year to now six cities and two countries. In the next five years, we’re determined to make Pinot Palooza the largest wine-drinker focused Pinot Noir celebration on the planet. (*mic drop*)”
This dashing festival of wine, food and music will return to Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Pinot Palooza will also visit Auckland for the first time, with eyes on the USA and Asia for 2017.
Some fabulous pinot producers
Some fabulous pinot producers
Seven producers have participated in every single event; Curly Flat (Macedon), Dalrymple (Tasmania), Greywacke (Marlborough), Josef Chromy (Tasmania), Moondarra (Gippsland), Mount Difficulty (Central Otago) and Yabby Lake (Mornington Peninsula). Other Pinot Noir producers in the 2016 Palooza line-up include renowned Australian and New Zealand wineries – Ata Rangi, Stefano Lubiana, Shaw + Smith, Maude, Kooyong Est, Chatto, Charteris, Giant Steps, Craggy Range and Pegasus Bay, to name just a handful.
Tickets are $60 each, which includes lots of tasting and a $35 Plumm wine glass to keep. VIP tickets are $95 with exclusive pre-event access, food vouchers and expert assistance from roaming sommeliers.
If you need a freshener in between pinots, fabulous craft beer Young Henry’s will serve you well in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, and Sample Brew will be pouring in Melbourne.
It will be the most fun a winelover can have in a day.
Have a look and grab your tickets at www.pinotpalooza.com.au