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Pinot Noir: Chile x New Zealand. Differences and similarities

When we talk wine, Pinot Noir is one of the varieties that are always in the top of mind. With time, this variety has managed to cut its ties with Burgundy and express different characteristics that portraits its place of birth. That’s why we’ll now tackle the main differences between Chilean and NZ Pinot Noir.

bicicleta pinot noir

bicicleta pinot noir

When we mention New Zealand, the first things that pop in your mind are probably kiwis and dreamy mountains, but wine? Yes, wine! Being Pinot Noir one of the main varieties grown in the country.

Between June 2017 and June 2018, New Zealand exported 1,5M 9L cases of Pinot Noir, result of the country’s increasing production destined to exportation.

Now, what are the differences between a Pinot Noir from Chile and one from NZ? Let’s see:

New Zealand’s Pinot Noir

The variety is mostly grown in the southern islands, the main production regions are: Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Central Otago. And even though they can each produce very unique wines, they all share a remarkable ruby red color and a ripe fruity palate.

While Wairarapa delivers a Pinot Noir with more ripeness and chocolaty notes resulting from aging, the ones produced in Marlborough deliver subtle acidity, fruits that are a bit more fresh, with hints of plum and raspberries, and a very good structure.

Speaking in general, we can say that the southern valleys of NZ – when most of the Pinot Noir production is concentrated – tend to deliver wines with medium body, smooth tannins and a ripe fruity palate and nose.

Chile’s Pinot Noir

Chile’s diversity of origins allows the country to produce a wide range of wines, and the Pinot Noir is one of the most recognized varieties nationally and internationally.

Under high production standards . like the ones applied by Cono Sur – is possible to obtain a fruity Pinot Noir, perfectly balanced with high acidity and medium to low tannins.

This is only possible thanks to the quality of the soils and the climate provided by San Antonio and Casablanca Valleys – internationally praised by their Pinot Noir.

As we can see, Chile and NZ have many similarities – fruity notes with delicate tannins – and their differences have all to do with the region they come from: Chile has a more template climate, delivering fruits that have more acidity, freshness, and hence a more fruity and lighter wine. NZ has a warmer climate, the wines are riper, with more alcohol and a fuller body that is balanced by a good acidity.

Finally, its worth mentioning that both countries are very much committed to sustainable management and organic practices. Most NZ wineries take part of the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand agreement, while in Chile, many wineries; including Cono Sur, follow Wines of Chile’s Sustainability Code.