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Pinot Noir vintage to save lives

Sergeant Aaron Nicholson, the Search and Rescue (SAR) Co-ordinator for Wanaka and representing the Queenstown SAR group said, "Both groups are delighted to receive $15,000 from the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration Trust. This money will go a long way to saving lives and there wouldn't be too many times in the life of a Central Otago wine producer that they could say that. Between Wanaka and Queenstown, the groups attend to over 70 SAR operations annually which involve a variety of terrain and water where lost or injured people of various ages, gender and nationality are involved.”

This week, twenty Central Otago wine producers will gather together and donate 225 litres of premium pinot noir to fill the Central Otago 2006 Celebration barrel.

The 2006 Celebration Cuvee will be nurtured by local Bannockburn-based winemaker, Matt Dicey of Mt. Difficulty, with bottling scheduled in mid-2007.

Futures on the Celebration Cuvee were sold at the highly successful auction held at the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration in January this year. The auction was conducted on behalf of the Central Otago Pinot Noir Charitable Trust. The Celebration included a series of tastings and workshops by well known winemakers and pinot noir experts with delegates attending from all round the world. The event concluded with the auction which drew a fantastic response from both New Zealand and overseas bidders.

Also auctioned was the magnificent artwork by leading Auckland artist, Michael Hight, from his series of beehives entitled, 'Nevis Road'.

“Michael’s work is definitely the pièce de résistance, as it will form the label on what is already deemed to be a Collectors’ edition of Central Otago Cuvee” said Alistair King, Chairman of the Central Otago Pinot Noir Charitable Trust.

“Some of our bidders will cellar this wine for many, many years, both here in New Zealand and overseas.”

The barrel filling will take place at Mt. Difficulty on Thursday, on 22 June with a presentation to Sergeant Nicholson of Wanaka and Queenstown Search & Rescue. Each of the 20 wineries will be represented at the filling to mark this special occasion.

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