Celebrating Pinot Noir on the Mornington Peninsula

Martin Spedding speaking at the Pinot Noir Celebration. Photo Pinot Noir Celebration.
Words Sonya Logan in the Mornington Peninsula

The tenth edition of the Pinot Noir Celebration Australia has begun this morning in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

Hosted by wine writer Max Allen, the two-day event, which was first held in 2003, has attracted around 250 Pinot Noir enthusiasts, including producers and consumers.

In his opening address, chair of the Pinot Noir Celebration Australia and vigneron for the Mornington Peninsula’s Ten Minutes by Tractor, Martin Spedding, said the event had “helped to deepen our understanding of the world of Pinot and fine wine and Australia’s important part in that”.

“Over the 20 years [since the first Celebration] we’ve seen significant changes in the rise of popularity in Pinot Noir and also enormous growth in the depth and breadth of quality Australian Pinot that’s been produced across our regions,” Spedding said.

“This is underlined by the fact that in Australia Pinot Noir now has the biggest share of on-premise red wine sales and the biggest growth in off-premise wine sales. Export sales have also grown significantly over the 20 years, as has the number of export markets that you will find an Australian Pinot in now: in the UK, Scandinavia, across Europe, Canada, in the US and Asia.”

Today, an international panel of experts will present four sessions on various themes. One will explore the impacts of climate change on wine production led by US climatologist Greg Jones, with contributions from winemakers Mac Forbes and Peter Dillon and managing director of the Australian Wine Research Institute Mark Krstic.

Another will look at what’s driving consumer engagement and industry priorities with wine and what the future looks like for wine consumers, viticulturists and winemakers around the world. These sessions will be complemented by a selection of Australian and international Pinot Noirs.

The event’s keynote speech will be delivered by German-born, London-based Pinot Noir enthusiast Anne Krebiehl MW at a gala dinner this evening.

Day two will see Celebration attendees split off into three workshops, which will look at topics including vineyard health and architecture and trends in Pinot Noir winemaking and viticulture, followed by seven small-group seminars focussing on a variety of subjects including sustainability, terroir, managing the impacts of climate change in vineyards, Pinot Noir rootstocks, the influence of various types of fermentation vessels, and robotics and automation in wineries.


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