The Central Otago Pinot Celebration, which attracts wine lovers from across the globe, has given back to its local community. The three-day 2020 celebration raised $15,000 for the Mokihi Restoration Trust which is a Cromwell reforestation project run by Te Kākano. “The money raised will be donated to Mokihi Reforestation Trust not Te Kākano,” shared Loran Verpillot, Trust Administrator at Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust.
The Mokihi Trust was established in 2016 and to date has planted 4000 native plants of local origin at three sites around Cromwell and adjacent to Lake Dunstan.
The auction was a key part of the celebration with wine experiences in hot demand, kindly donated by local wineries. Central Otago Pinot Noir charitable trust chairman, Alistair King said he was thrilled the money will go to such a good cause: “The Trust’s goals of promoting hands-on community land care and native habitat restoration are a good fit with Central Otago Winegrowers’ values of being responsible custodians of their land”.
The line up of Central Otago wines immersed 150 enthusiasts in wine tastings, panel discussions, lunches and dinners. Attendees included wine-loving consumers, trade, sommeliers, wine and leisure media, and Central Otago wineries. “It was insanely cool. Visitors were shown the special side of this area. Central Otago is stunning, visually, but for me the event was made by the spirit of the people I’m proud to call colleagues,” said Pinot Celebration chairman, Chris Keys. “We showed our region with honesty, revealed ourselves without artifice. That made for deep, funny, cool times, and meaningful connections all over the place. Wine is a crucial part of this – but it’s all part of a bigger story. The celebration helps develop our cultural and ecological heritage,” commented Keys.