CNN has an interesting piece on the Bald Hills winery in New Zealand which is making some of the world’s best Pinot Noir. There’s a fun backstory on this one, Blair and Estelle Hunt got into the wine business just as they were approaching 60, the age most people are looking toward retirement. Fast forward to ten years late and their 2005 Bald Hills pinot noir has beaten 4,760 other entries to take the Champion Red award in the International Wine Challenge, the world’s biggest blind tasting. They also won the Champion Sustainable trophy at the International Wine Challenge.
The pair had sold their house in Sydney and moved to rural New Zealand in search of a more peaceful, rural life. They landed in Bannockburn and found that their land was ideal for growing grapes. They wound up working with renowned New Zealand winemaker Grant Taylor to create the wines which are created with great care. As was memorably explained in the movie, Sideways, Pinot Noir grapes are rather fussy, they are thin-skinned and prone to rot and grow best in Burgundy in France, Oregon in the U.S., and New Zealand’s Central Otago region.
Getting your hands on the wine is not easy but it is not wildly expensive; it costs just 38 New Zealand dollars, less than U.S.$30. It is distributed in the U.S. by Pangaea Wine Group.
By Deidre Woollard.