Pinot Noir 2017

When 600 international pinot noir lovers and media celebrated the glories of their favourite grape in Wellington in early February, Ruth was focused on the food involved, in her role as Culinary Director. Paul supervised logistical support.

“This was the sixth Pinot conference and my sixth time as Culinary Director. It’s a massive event but I love it,” she reported, tired but happy after some long intensive days.

To give you an idea of what’s involved:

  • 600 guests for morning teas and lunch, daily, for three days
  • 750 guests at evening  events
  • Every wine tasting and culinary event used specially imported Riedel glasses. 6,000 in total which were washed and polished prior. At one tasting alone each guest used 9 glasses . These fragile and beautiful glasses were washed and polished many times over the three days
  • 19,000 pieces of cutlery were used for lunches and dinners
  • On a daily basis 50 front of house staff, morning, noon and night plus on-site chefs and support staff and then a full kitchen of chefs at Te Horo home base prepping for the days coming up
  • Special thanks to Diane Jackson, a long-term friend and former staff member who moved up from Nelson for the week and drove the truck back and forth constantly to replenish supplies and to Johnny Ake from Blenheim the kitchen hand extraordinaire.

“We involved some very top chefs, with Al Brown (Auckland), Graham Brown (Christchurch) and Josh Emett (Queenstown) creating tasty lunches on different days. (Click here for menus).

Nine leading Wellington restaurants joined us in presenting fabulous food stations for the first night, encouraging guests to get to know each other as they sampled wines from the 115 wineries involved. (Click here for menu).  Click here for Banquet Aotearoa menu.

“Winemakers, international media and commentators and simply pinot noir lovers from around the world are just the nicest people. They all appreciate good food as well as wine, and were interested and impressed at the range of local foods we showcased.

“The conference’s theme of Turangawaewae (our place in the world) applies just as much to our food as our wines. It was very special and we are very proud to be part of such an amazing event,” Ruth concluded.

Photo Credit:  Mike Heydon from Jet Productions