About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Riedel ‘Central Otago’ Pinot Noir Workshop

19th March 2013

The Riedel Wine Glass Company is working on crafting a speciality glass for Central Otago Pinot Noir.
Georg Riedel the head of the world’s leading wine glass company flew into Queenstown to consult with local winemakers and leading wine experts about producing a speciality wine glass specific for Central Otago Pinot Noir.

Georg Riedel had been thinking about and researching for sometime the Central Otago wine region to gain a better appreciation of the region’s famed Pinot Noir before embarking on this intense 'workshop - tasting session' to find the perfect glass in which to respect and present the true personality of Central Otago Pinot Noir.
Georg led the interactive session with a select group of 24 wine experts and local winemakers who each sampled their own vineyard’s wine in 14 different shapes of Riedel glasses. It was hard not to, but we were reminded by Georg not to focus on the appearance of the glass - but to focus and find the shape that shows the most positive attributes in  the wine. The group was asked to concentrate on how the wine performed in each glass.
As Georg stated - “Central Otago is internationally recognised for producing some of the world’s best wine, and Pinot Noir from the region is particularly sought after because of the great intensity and finesse of the wine”.
Georg said - “Central Otago Pinot Noir was selected for the new wine glass because of its quality and intensity”.
Each of us were asked in turn to score each glass and award points to how each glass shape best reflected the way each wine should taste, all the scores were collated and two glass shapes emerged as clear winners.
All the winemakers I spoke with on the day, said how amazed they were at how different their Pinot Noir wine tasted in each of the glasses, it was like they had tasted 14 different wines.
I was pleased to find that after all the scores were tallied up - that my top 'best performing' glass shape was one and the same as the clear winner which stood out from the rest.
Georg described - “The perfect Pinot Noir glass has a rounded, bulbous bottom to the bowl and a narrow flow stream at the top. The glass controls the flow of wine to the palate in an impressive way so that the wine doesn’t change or become better, it actually tastes better”.
Steve Green, chairman of New Zealand Winegrowers’ and owner of Bannockburn’s Carrick Winery, said - "this important development signalled that Central Otago Pinot Noir had, come of age".


 “The international reputation of our wines has been recognised and a dedicated Central Otago Pinot Noir glass will sit alongside worldwide icons such as a Burgundy Glass and the Champagne Flute”, he said. “An historical moment is about to occur in New Zealand’s wine industry and Central Otago is preparing for the world stage.”
Georg said - “A wine as good as your Pinot Noir needs to be savoured from the correct glass.”  You will certainly get no argument from all the winemakers who were part of the workshop.
As we gathered and shared our thoughts over lunch - many stated how exciting it was to think that a glass designed specifically for Central Otago Pinot Noir will soon be sitting among a range of glasses used by many of the world's most discerning wine enthusiasts. 
We all agreed that this is a massive international endorsement of the region's commitment to delivering quality wines.
As it has been stated previously in many publications and on many occasions - The Riedel family have contributed more to the wine industry in the past 50 years than almost any winemaking dynasty.
All of the selected winemakers and special wine guests that attended the workshop - said it was testament to Georg’s respect of Central Otago Pinot Noir. That he had travelled half way around the world to talk with winemakers and grape growers here and gather their thoughts on what can be a long process to craft and agree on the final glass shape.
To have a company as influential as Riedel recognise Central Otago Pinot Noirs as worthy of a specially designed glass is a wonderful statement in Central Otago’s relatively short 30-year winegrowing history.
Quartz Reef winemaker Rudi Bauer described Georg Riedel’s visit as - "a massive international endorsement of the region’s commitment to delivering quality wine. “We’re looking forward to working with him further to identify the key elements for a Central Otago glass.”

A key question asked to each of the guest winemakers was - what is Central Otago Pinot Noir at its very best? The answer which is not a definitive one or near complete - if ever, will need to be answered to a degree with a few compromises - as all will need to agree on a shape that best respects the region and not just one interpretation.

With still a great deal more work to do and many glass shape trials to be performed - when all is complete - the ‘Riedel Central Otago Pinot Noir’ glass is intended for release by Hancocks Wine & Spirit Merchants in 2014.

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