Jackson Estate: Marlborough to surpass Central Otago Pinot

Jackson Estate’s founder John Stichbury and winemaker Matt Patterson Green have claimed Marlborough will emerge as New Zealand’s premier Pinot Noir region, on par, or even ahead of Central Otago.

Stichbury told Drinks International that Pinot Noir from Malborugh was an inexpensive alternative to Central Otago and that the region’s wines would only get better as the “maturity of the vines come through”.

Patterson-Green said: “Within five-seven years Marlborough will be known for its Pinot Noir as much as its Sauvignon Blanc. Marlborough was first to plant Pinot Noir in New Zealand. But when it was originally planted it was not in the right place.”

The Wairau Valley, where the region’s Sauvignon Blancs have prospered, was not the right area for Pinot Noir, but this has only recently been realised as producers expand production outside of the area, according to Patterson-Green.

He said: “Now we grow Pinot Noir in the Southern Valley. Pinot Noir is now the big push for Jackson Estate, although Sauvignon Blanc remains our bread and butter with around 70% of production.”

Stichbury added that New Zealand would continue to become more regional in the styles of wines produced and they way they are perceived.