The fussy Pinot Noir grape has made it difficult for growers to produce consistently fantastic wines, but the quality of the variety has improved – along with its popularity.

Mornington Peninsula winery Stonier (pioneers of Pinot Noir in the cooler coastal region), recently hosted their 14th annual Pinot Noir-tasting event. Pinot enthusiasts from around the country – consumers, retailers, wine media and sommeliers – blind-tested 12 examples of the variety from across the globe.

“Its success is in its simplicity,” says Stonier winemaker Mike Symons. “We find twelve wines from around the world that exemplify the diversity of the variety. From the robust to the refined, we see how each of the wines reveals its personality.

“There is always interesting discussion about what is best, and there are very few who can agree on the answer to that question.”

“It is very difficult to find agreement on wine generally, but even more so when it comes to Pinot Noir,” says Peter ‘The Wine Man’ Bourne, who hosted the event. “Pinot is so diverse, especially when we benchmark twelve favourites from across the globe. Each has a different appeal and so finding one standout for all of the guests was very difficult indeed.”

Pinot Noir is the fastest growing red wine variety in the market, and global interest is at unprecedented levels.

“Pinot Noir is a wine not easily tamed, and we see at this event each year how different characters appeal to different people,” says Symons. “This reminds us that we still have undiscovered paths to follow as we learn more about this variety.”