The 2018 vintage was one of the hottest on record in Central Otago with extraordinary weather patterns resulting in a very compressed season. There were searing temperatures for days on end early in the season, along with record low rainfall. The winds came later in the season and then heavy rains hit in early to mid-February. It was challenging to manage the rapid canopy growth and keep on top of the constant threat of mildew and botrytis.
In spite of the issues, the Pinot Noir from this vintage was in good condition with the wines having good weight and fruit ripeness reflecting the warmth of the season. The Growing Degree Days (GDDs) across the region were generally around 1356.
Pinot Noir is an extremely versatile food wine as it can pair well with either white or red meats, creamy sauces, and spicy seasonings. It’s also a wonderful match with sword fish or roast salmon. The classic Pinot Noir matches are with game birds, roasted red meats, mushrooms as well as mild and creamy cheese.