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Pinot Noir Alliance debuts as UK sales of the grape soars

Published:  11 October, 2017

Pinot Noir sales in the UK have almost doubled in value and volume in the past four years.

According to new data, Pinot Noir sales in the UK off-trade are now worth £64.2 million, representing some 800,000 9 ltr cases annually (IRI 52 weeks to 16 September, 2017), compared to four years ago when sales reached £32.6 million, with 400,000 9 ltr cases sold (Nielsen 52 weeks to 13 July, 2013).

Revealed this week at the first event hosted by the recently set up The Pinot Noir Alliance, the data indicated the grape could take over from Malbec as “the next big thing in red wine”, said Cono Sur, which came up with the concept of the alliance.

“It’s food-friendly, it’s got a range of styles as we’ve seen today and suits just about any occasion,” said brand manager, James Hick.

A collaboration between five producers from renowned Pinot Noir regions - New Zealand, Australia’s Yarra Valley, California, Chile and Burgundy, the first event saw Cono Sur chief winemaker Adolfo Hurtado hosting two sessions alongside David Bicknell of Oakridge, Gordon Russell of the Villa Maria family of wineries, Richard Bampfield MW representing Domaines Albert Bichot in Burgundy and Pierre-Marie Pattieu of La Crema in Sonoma, California.

The aim of the sessions, which was overseen by Tim Atkin MW, was to discuss and illustrate how soil, climate, vine age and human interaction come together to create unique styles for each region.

Referring to the day as “fascinating”, The Pinot Noir Alliance would “definitely be taking this idea into other markets”, said Hurtado.

“Pinot Noir is a grape that is worth taking time to understand and look at in its many forms, and today has shown that by working together we can help to promote its attractiveness more widely.”