Central Otago Pinot Celebration raises $15,000 for local trust
The legendary Central Otago Pinot Celebration, which attracts wine lovers from across the globe, has given back to its local community.
On July 28-31, Central Otago Winegrowers will host 17 leading sommeliers and wine trade guests from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand to the annual E’Sensual Pinot Noir event.
This is a four-day fully immersive event packed with vineyard & winery visits, viticulture and winemaking workshops, as well as tastings and evening events. This year the delegates will also get the chance to contribute to local biodiversity restoration efforts with a native planting session at the 45th Parallel landmark, in partnership with Mokihi Trust of Cromwell.
On the afternoon of Wednesday July 31st, the crew will stop at the 45th Parallel cairn, next to Lake Dunstan and have the significance of native habitat restoration in Central Otago presented to them, before getting their hands in our region’s dirt and planting trees. The trees themselves are mostly grown from local, eco-sourced seed in conjunction with Cromwell community’s own Mokihi Trust and paid for by the Central Otago Winegrowers Association. Many Central Otago vineyards already do revegetation work in their own properties, but with many of the guests travelling long distances to visit this special place, it’s fitting to have the guests involved in the community’s efforts and in a public that can be visited in perpetuity.
Nick Paulin, President Central Otago Winegrowers comments, "Important guests like these traditionally maintain their contact with our region through our wines, hopefully on their restaurant lists! Now they’ll also leave with some of the region’s dirt under their fingernails and a native tree growing here that they planted. As importantly, they’ll also have had an opportunity to contribute to the community’s native restoration efforts. We’d love to see it become an ongoing part of what all our wine visitors do when visiting Central."
The 45th Parallel as a landmark is significant to the wine world as it runs through several of the world’s fine wine regions, including Piedmont in Italy, France’s Northern Rhone regions, Oregon in the US and of course Central Otago.
When: Wednesday 31st July, 1.15pm-1.40pm
Where: GPS coordinates - pretty easy! 45.000 Degrees South, west side of Lake Dunstan, just north of Lowburn Bridge
Who: A selection of Central Otago Winegrowers plus the 17 guests of E’Sensual eg. Christine Parkinson, Group Head of Wine, Hakkasan Restaurant Group, London; Christopher Dooly, Sommelier Eleven Madison Park, New York; Philip Shorten, buyer Armadale Cellars, Melbourne; Dani Donovan, Cazador Restaurant, Auckland; Christie Norman, Sommelier Spargo, Wolfgang Puck, Los Angeles;….etc
Nick Paulin (President Central Otago Winegrowers and Aotearoa NZ Fine Wine) [email protected] 021 176 5633
Blair Walter (Winemaker, Felton Road and Trustee, Mokihi Trust) [email protected] 027 292 1737
Nick Mills (Winemaker, Rippon Vineyard and Chairperson, Te Kakano) [email protected] 027 244 7560
Mike Barra (Chairperson, Mokihi Trust): [email protected] 027 209 2112
Mokihi Trust: The Mōkihi Trust was formed in early 2016 after a series of public meetings of people interested in ecological restoration in and around Cromwell. A scoping study was carried out during 2015 to gauge the interest in forming a group similar to the highly successful Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust in Wanaka. This study was funded by Te Kakano (Maori for “The Seed”) via a generous grant from the Central Otago Pinot Noir Charitable Trust - a Central Otago Winegrowers initiative that supports local community groups. Te Kakano was formed in 2007 and is a community-based native plant nursery that specialises in propagating plants of local origin for native habitat restoration and has planted thousands of plants in Wanaka and around the Upper Clutha Basin. The name Mōkihi was selected for the Cromwell based group as it is the Maori word for a flax raft. This suitably ties in with one of the aims of Te Kakano of floating “The Seed” down the Clutha River (Mata-Au) to inspire and assist communities interested in native habitat restoration. The eventual ideal would be a corridor of habitat restoration all the way to the ocean. Interestingly, the first European to arrive in the Upper Clutha and Cromwell areas in September 1853 was Nathanael Chalmers, who after falling ill was floated down the Clutha in a Mōkihi by his Maori guides. In three short years, Mōkihi has planted 3141 plants to date at its two Cromwell sites: Richard’s Beach and the 45th Parallel walking track parking area.