The final day of the Pinot Noir 2013 conference featured an excellent keynote address by Jasper Morris MW, one of the most respect commentators on Burgundy and Pinot Noir. He put forward his perspectives of where New Zealand is in the world of Pinot Noir, and where New Zealand should go in the future. Morris acknowledged the spectacular progress made in the past quarter of a century, and noted, to many people’s surprise, the fifth ranking in the world for Pinot Noir plantings, though in world terms for total wine production, the country is much further down the list! Morris stated that New Zealand is indeed a major player with the variety.
His comments on the way forward centred around two concepts. Firstly: ‘Risk’. Morris’ observation was that New Zealanders are risk aversive, and preferred control. His advice was to “be braver” and ‘be prepared to break the rules”, and “let feeling take over” rather than relying on making wine by figures. ‘Confidence’ was the other aspect. Examining authenticity, regional and sub-regional interpretation, consistency, the evolution of wine palate expression and of the ability to age, he felt that New Zealand should have the confidence to tell its story. An observation was that the industry was not profitable in making Pinot Noir, and this was unacceptable and not sustainable for the future.