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Grasshopper Rock helping define new Riedel glassware

Riedel launches new Central Otago Pinot Noir Glass

Here is a brief update on my original article written in June 2013. The original article, unchanged below, includes links to interesting video and articles from the development period.

Two years on from the first comparative tasting, Central Otago Pinot Noir now has its own unique glassware and Grasshopper Rock is excited to have been involved in the development process. Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2010 was one of the wines used in the second workshop to decide which of the final four possible wine glass shapes best displayed Central Otago Pinot Noir's unique combination of aromas, flavours and structure. The final glass shape supports what was found when tasting Grasshopper Rock on that day back in June 2013. The new glass (below) is distributed by Negociants New Zealand.

Phil
May 22, 2015

Original article 25 June 2013

When the world's leader in varietal-specific glassware decides to develop a new wine glass specifically for pinot noir grown in a small place about as far away from Austria as you can be, the wine world takes notice. And when Grasshopper Rock is chosen as one of the benchmark pinots we take a lot of interest.

Designing a new wine glass is a huge endorsement for Central Otago pinot noir and obviously something Riedel is confident it can convinced enough people to buy into.

Central Otago Pinot Noir is marketable but can a glass be developed which is really different from any other Riedel glass? Riedel have already developed wine glasses specifically for Burgundy pinot noir in 1958 (Burgundy Grand Cru) and for Oregon pinot noir in 2009 (Vinum XL). Can there be a better wine glass shape which is perfect for showing off the unique character of Central Otago Pinot Noir?

Georg Riedel opens Workshop #1 (photo courtesy of Riedel)

Riedel and Central Otago Pinot Noir are smart enough marketers to be able to pull this off on the back of a world-class wine and global leadership in wine glassware.

For Central Otago winegrowers this is a momentous development. Here is how it has unfolded to date.
Riedel have so far completed two invitation only pinot noir glass development workshops in Central Otago and intend releasing a new glass in 2014.

Workshop #1 – March 2013
In March 2013 Georg J. Riedel journeyed to New Zealand. While he was here he hosted a workshop in Queenstown with twenty winemakers and wine writers to find the best glass for Central Otago's Pinot Noir.
The first workshop looked at many Riedel glass shapes and sizes to find the leading contenders for “the perfect glass in which to enjoy Central Otago Pinot Noir". The following links will take you to some excellent material.

  • Read more at the Riedel blog and view Georg Riedel's introduction to the workshop on Vimeo here.
  • The Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd press release is here.
  • Gavin Humble's blog gives a great insight into what it was to be like at the first workshop: The Wine Guy
  • Jo Burzynska, also at the first workshop, published this article in the NZ Herald on 18 Aprio 2013 here
  • While in Central Otago, Georg Riedel gave this interview with Alan Brady published on Youtube by WidescreenNZ here

Riedel glasses left to right: 1, 2, 3 and 4 ready with Grasshopper Rock (photo - Pete Bartle, Grasshopper Rock winemaker)

Workshop #2 – June 2013
Four Riedel glasses went on to the second workshop. These were:

  1. Vinum Pinot Noir
  2. Vinum Extreme,
  3. Vinum XL and
  4. Burgundy Grand Cru
A small group of Central Otago winemakers were invited to this workshop where winemakers tasted the same pinot noir across all four glasses as if tasting a flight of four wines. Each glass was rated 1 to 4 for the particular wine.

The wines selected for this tasting were four of the finest examples of the 2010 vintage from different Central Otago sub-regions. The wines were:

Wine 1. Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2010
Wine 2. Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2010
Wine 3. Rippon Pinot Noir 2010
Wine 4. Mt Edward, Morrison Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

The leading contenders at this stage are the Vinum XL and the Vinum Extreme.
Grasshopper Rock winemaker, Pete Bartle said Grasshopper Rock 2010 was stunning in the Vinum Extreme.