Eleven cities, 150+ wineries, 30+ wine regions. Want our advice?

Over Pinot Palooza’s 11 city tour, there will be opportunity to taste hundreds of different Pinots from around 150 producers representing around 30 regions. The sheer volume alone can be intimidating, let alone trying to pick a favourite.

The best way is to approach it as you would a music festival. Think of the different styles or producers as stages, each one representing a certain genre of music or musician.

Each has its own unique character and what you like or don’t like is all down to how you feel and what you’re seeking at that particular moment in time.

Spend time at the main stage, but make sure you head to the fringe and emerging stages for something new or a little different. Up for a splurge? Hit the VIP stage. Up for something fun? The Dance Tent’s where it’s at. And when you feel like taking it a little easy, the Chill Out Room’s waiting for you. 

This is how you pinot, with your hands in the air like you just don’t care!

Main Stage: This is the headline act which you absolutely have to check out. If you haven’t heard of them, you soon will. This one’s a must.
VIP: This is one you’ll cough up good dollars for.
Fringe: A little left field, alternative, unique, intriguing and captivating. Not mainstream and all the better for it.
Emerging Talent: This is your new, up-and-coming Pinot artist, or one who’s undergone reinvention.
Chill Out Room: Super chilled, easy going, relaxed and super lo-fi.
Dance Tent: Wines that are bright, fun and make you want to move.

Need some advice? We asked some of the best sommeliers on the planet to tell us how they Pinot.
SAMANTHA PAYNE, Wine Consultant, Communicator and Sommelier (Sydney, Australia)

“I Pinot everywhere. It’s the red wine I naturally gravitate to on wine lists and bottle shop shelves because of its diversity and the inherent ‘sense of place’ it articulates. My favourite place to Pinot is at home with friends, with a really killer pasta and great tunes in the background, candlelight casting a warm glow over everything.”

Main Stage: Shaw and Smith (Adelaide Hills, SA)
VIP: Prophet’s Rock ‘Home Vineyard’ (Central Otago, NZ)
Fringe: Becker Wines Pinot Meunier Pet Nat (Tumbarumba, NSW),
Emerging Talent: Golden Child ‘Lazy Sunday’ (Adelaide Hills, SA),
Chill Out Room: Stoney Rise (Tasmania)
Dance Tent: Giant Steps ‘Applejack Vineyard’ (Yarra Valley, VIC)

LIAM O’BRIEN, Head Sommelier, Cutler & Co (Melbourne, Australia)

“​I drink it because it’s the wine I think about all the time. I make it because I want to try to tame the beast. I talk about it because I want to​ know how much I don’t know. ​I sell it because I get to taste a little Pinot every day​. ​In short, I work in wine so I can Pinot.”

Main Stage: ​Ocean Eight (Mornington Peninsula, VIC)
VIP: ​Rippon ‘Mature Vines’ (Central Otago, NZ)
Fringe: ​Terindah Estate ‘Two Bays’ (Bellarine, VIC)
Emerging Talent: Clyde Park Vineyard (Bellarine, VIC)
Chill Out Room: ​Stoney Rise (Tasmania)
Dance Tent: ​Shadowfax (Bellarine, VIC)

MEGAN ABBOTT-WALKER, Sommelier (Auckland, New Zealand)

“Producers of Pinot Noir worldwide are, without exception, passionate people and I’ve found it’s impossible to not get on board and want to taste and experience as much as possible. Acknowledging that there are many different expressions of flavour, structure and style that can result from this grape, I look to Pinot when I want a wine that is ethereal, floral, with touches of sweet fruit balanced by earthiness, minerals, spice and all the dirty, savoury funk you could ask for. I can’t say no to a little dirty funk.”

Main Stage: ​Valli (Central Otago, NZ)
VIP: ​Rippon (Central Otago, NZ)
Fringe: ​Black Estate (North Canterbury, NZ)
Emerging Talent: Carrick (Central Otago, NZ)
Chill Out Room: ​Neudorf ‘Tom’s Block’ (Nelson NZ)
Dance Tent: ​Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle Brut NV (Central Otago, NZ)


Wine RVLT is one of the first and only natural wine bars in Singapore. We spent more time there than we care to admit last visit, and even held our Pinot Palooza afterparty there. Owners and somms Alvin Goh and Iain Lim are men of few words but we got them to tell us that… “We pinot because it’s good for our health!”

Main Stage: Bill Downie (Gippsland, VIC)
VIP: Felton Road (Central Otago, NZ)
Fringe: Patrick Sullivan (Gippsland, VIC)
Chill Out Room: Fromm (Marlborough, NZ)
Dance Tent: Jack Rabbit (Bellarine, VIC)

PAOLA MARAZZINA, Group Sommelier, Transit Group (Tokyo, Japan)

“There are so many ways I pinot, depending on the people I am drinking with, the occasion or my mood. As a catch-all food pairing wine, I often rely on a nice pinot when I am invited to a dinner without knowing what we’re eating, or I choose an old vintage when it’s an important date or celebration. When I need to cheer up on a rainy afternoon I would choose a juicy, funky Australian pinot!”

Main Stage: Don Wines (Martinborough, NZ)
VIP: Tolpuddle (Tasmania, Australia)
Fringe: Vinteloper (Adelaide Hills, SA)
Emerging talent: Quealy (Mornington Peninsula, VIC)
Chill out Room: Ochota Barrels (Adelaide Hills, SA)
Dance Tent: Mac Forbes (Yarra Valley, VIC)

PENNY GRANT, Head Sommelier, Black Bird (Brisbane, Australia)

“The way I pinot depends on the weather, what’s on my plate and just how much I actually want to share. Like with Champagne, pinot noir is subject to an occasion. Quick barbecue, bring a cheaper easy and approachable drop. Night out, good food, good company, go for it and drop a dollar or two on some Burg!!”

Main Stage: Rippon (Central Otago, NZ)
VIP: Craggy Range Aroha (Martinborough, NZ)
Fringe: Vinteloper (Adelaide Hills, SA)
Emerging Talent: Alan McCorkindale (North Canterbury, NZ)
Chill Out Room: Stoney Rise (Tasmania)
Dance Tent: Valli ‘Waitaki Vineyard’ (Central Otago, NZ)