Modern pioneers of Pinot Noir

08 June 2017

Pinot Noir producer Jackson Wine Estate has had to modernise its way of thinking to keep up with demand in the UK and further afield.

The Marlborough wine estate has just announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art winery and is bullish about the future potential of Pinot Noir, especially in the UK, but knows it has to strive to stay at the top of its game.

'We have noticed natural growth in the UK and all markets with Pinot Noir,' director Jeff Hart told Imbibe.

'I wouldn’t say Pinot Noir is new but it is something that has developed and like any product we continue to look at developing. Pinot Noir from Marlborough is probably less well known and it provides a different style of Pinot Noir.'

The reason for change, Hart said, is down to discovery. 'Change has happened because more people are finding out about it. Products are a whole lot more accessible now than they were 10 years ago.'

When it comes to the on-trade, the director said it’s a natural progression. 'The on-trade comes into it when people have tried it at home,' he added. 'People want something new and this is that.'

Volumes might be relatively scarce - at 5,000 cases total - but export demand is there and the UK is Jackson Estate’s biggest fan.  

Hart is candid about the price, saying the cost of running the vineyard is naturally reflected in the price tag. 'But, I think it is a wine that over-delivers for the price,' he added.

The personal project of creating the new winery threw up some interesting challenges because Hart had to 'deal with all the issues along the way' but he feels wonderful now it’s done. 'We now have a home and a place we can share with people,' he said. 'From a winemaking sense, we are in full control.'

What’s next

Hart isn’t going to rest now it’s done. No way. 'We have wine extensions in the pipeline,' he said secretively.

And when might that be? 'To be unveiled in the next couple of months,' he smiled.

'We are very confident believers in the wine industry and see an opportunity with Marlborough Pinot Noir.'

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