Welcome to day two at the biggest wine event ever held in the capital, Pinot Noir NZ 2017.

Here we are sitting in a dark room with eight wines in front of us, six winemakers and writers on the stage and hundreds of people tasting silently.

The wines are all poured in Riedel Burgundy glasses with their identities concealed. We were offered the option to taste these wines with their identities remaining concealed or to pick up the card from the centre of the table and find out exactly what we were tasting.  More on this tasting later, but first, one of the best pieces of wine news yet to emerge (for me) at this conference…

Dog Point Vineyard is moving to screwcaps… 

Screwcaps may be the order of the day for over 95% of New Zealand wineries but old habits die hard, so it’s only now (16 years on from the launch of screw caps in this country) that Dog Point Vineyard’s top wines are to be sealed with them.

The move will take effect on all Dog Point wines from the 2014 vintage. And it applies solely to the wines to be sold and consumed in New Zealand and Australia because, in the words of winemaker Murray Cook, “some export markets want to buy our top Dog Point wines with cork closures.”

This news means that Dog Point wines can currently be found sealed with corks (if they are from the 2013 and earlier vintages) and screw caps for wines made from the 2014 vintage onwards.

“We’ve had demand for screwcaps from a growing number in the trade for several years now but it has been a matter of adhering to tradition and we weren’t able to split the bottling run so seal wines in both ways,” says Cook.

The founders of Dog Point Vineyards decided to adopt the new strategy when they realised they were able to take advantage of dual bottling options.

In my view, Dog Point’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc – Section 94 – are among my favourite high quality New Zealand wines each year. News of this closure gives me more confidence than ever in their consistency and age-ability. This means I plan to cellar more of them, going forward…

Find out more at: www.dogpoint.co.nz