A sell-out celebration of Central Otago pinot noir kicks off its 10th anniversary in Queenstown tomorrow.
At least 40 of the region's wine producers will be opening their finest reds during three days for a national and international contingent of winemakers and wine writers.
Terra Sancta winemaker and chair of the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration Jen Parr said the event sold out faster than any other time in its 10-year lifespan.
Renowned Burgundy winemaker and delegate Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, is among a delegation spearheading a bid to recognise the French winemaking region as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Ms Parr said de Villaine was an inspiration and his desire to visit Central Otago and participate in the celebration was incredible.
She said the sell-out was record breaking with more than 200 delegates from dozens of countries heading to Queenstown, including winemakers, sommeliers and media from the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, China and Europe.
''Aubert is one of the most erudite, articulate and respected figures in the wine industry, yet what strikes you most is the warmth and humility with which he approaches his craft and the people around him.''
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti makes highly-valued, rare and expensive wine in a region with a viticulture history dating back centuries.
A single bottle of its Richebourg 2007 retails for about $2500 in New Zealand.
- The Mirror