New Zealand is blessed with three regions that excel in producing Pinot Noir. The first to emerge was Martinborough, where producers such as Ata Rangi established an international reputation for New Zealand Pinot Noir. Martinborough was followed by Central Otago, about 1000 km to the south, where a short growing season and hot summer temperatures ensure Pinots that burst with fruit.
Marlborough’s identity has been slow to emerge, simply because of the success that the region’s Sauvignon Blanc has enjoyed. With exception of Fromm Winery and a few others, this success with ‘Savvy’ has diverted growers’ attention away from the demands required to produce first class Pinot.
Marlborough has a more regular growing season than either Martinborough or Central Otago. It has fewer of the southerly winds that create problems at flowering for growers in Martinborough or the frosts that occur in the more southerly Central Otago. The warm days and cool nights of Marlborough extend the growing season for Pinot, something that in turn gives the sort of black cherry perfumes that we look for from this wonderful variety.