It’s with a slightly sad heart that I post my final blog for the #NZV16 series. The last two months have been incredible and I can’t express how lucky I feel to have been a part of such a wonderful team.
Thanks to all of you readers out there who have joined me for the highs, as well as the odd low. It’s been a huge learning experience and I’m pleased I put myself up for it and put my life onto a temporary alternative path. It’s back to London on Sunday and straight back into wine teaching. I will be sure to post some London wine video adventures for you all.
Will I do another vintage? Absolutely. Burgundy watch out! I will be coming your way…just need to brush up on the French first.
A huge thanks to everyone who has made the journey so memorable. Below are a few picks from our vintage bash as well as the last couple of days. Please feel free to click on them for more details.
Strutting his stuff as always. Cheers for the entertaining conversations Felix.
One very happy camper with Chenin Blanc and Waiheke red delights
Vintage party fun
Another very happy camper! Zlil, who is about to become a sheep farmer in Central Otago.
Sunday best plungers – or rockers? It’s hard to tell.
Such an awesome dude! Mr Jeremy you’re a gem.
One clean and ordered white receival.
More of the crew in their Sunday best.
White receival party selfie
Team shot at the end of our last shift. We even took to scrubbing the gloves we were wearing. The next vintage crew are a lucky bunch.
Some crazy French chicks
The gorgeous Viktor and Pavlina. Recycling the high-vis to another level.
This was the start…
This one has the moves. Zack you’re awesome.
One mad and awesome supervisor. Anne thanks for your skills and patience. Luv ya!
The number 1 support crew. Thanks for the washing, dinners and rides in the rain!
Couldn’t have done it without you buster!
I just had to squeeze in one more winery! Even if it meant a 35km round trip bike ride, it was well worth it.
Seresin are outstanding artisan producers who have been crafting wine for 20 years and certified biodynamic for the last 10.
Being shown the compost heap may not be most peoples idea of the best way to kick off a tour, however with Seresin, the compost is a great example of the estates’ philosophy. Giving back to the land, utilizing every part of the grape and nurturing the soil.
Whilst I was biking back to Blenheim, it really felt like I’d been visiting a farm rather than a winery. Our hosts spoke so passionately about the land and their biodynamic processes, it was inspiring to be around and the wines reflected this passion and hard work.
There are treats at the cellar door to sample that you may not find yet in stores, which makes Seresin a must visit when you’re in Marlborough.
Please click on the photos below for more information on the wines.
2009 Moana Sparkling; rich and complex with three years lees ageing giving gorgeous creamy mouth feel.
View from the top of the ridge over Seresin Vineyards
2014 Estate Sauvignon with a touch of barrel fermented Semillon.; mineral, peach, nectarine, gooseberry
2013 Marama; 100% Sauvignon Blanc barrel aged for 18 months; rich, textured and toasty with honey, cooked apple and mineral. Divine.
2014 Leah Pinot Noir; spiced and herbal with pretty strawberry and cherry.
2012 Rachel Pinot Noir; serious and structured with dark cherry, smoke, earth and spice.
2012 Sun and Moon Pinot Noir; what a delight! A wine you could lose yourself in. Layered, supple, textured, made only with the best grapes in the best vintages.
We’re almost at the end of #NZV16 and today I got to tick something off of my bucket list – digging out a tank!
A huge thanks to Ben and Anne for locking this into my vintage journey, and it was extra special that it was a tank containing a mate’s wine (apologies in advance Mike) that will be heading to the UK for Naked Wines in the near future. So I may even get to taste this wee number in its finished state.
Post work we had a wine tasting at the vintage house. I took along a bottle of the Astrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Chenin Blanc which was gorgeous (not a biased opinion at all). The Wrekin vineyard is managed organically with biodynamic influences. The wine is whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented. It has a wonderful balance of softness and vibrancy with mineral, apple, honey and pear. Great with goats cheese.
Another highlight was the Fromm La Strada Syrah (thanks Anne!). A super example of a Marlborough Syrah with black pepper, slightly sharp black currant, dark cherry and a touch of leaf. Supple yet structured. They are awesome producers!
Pinot tank pre dug-out
Pinot tank post dug-out
The wonderful Ben switching out the press tubs mid way
Loving the dig out!
Simply gorgeous Asrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Chenin
Viktor forming an egg
With the day off today I headed out to Hans Herzog Winery. A treat I have been saving to the end of vintage and it was definitely worth the wait.
Hans is from Switzerland and grows 29 varietals over 11.5 hectares in Marlborough. The vineyard is certified organic and there is very little interference in the winery, in terms of additions and filtering. Resulting in a range where each wine has a wonderful and interesting personality. They’re not made to be crowd pleases, however with such a diverse range, there is something wonderful in the mix for all wine lovers to enjoy.
For more information on the wines, please click on the photos below.
2014 Cuvee Therese; 80% Pinot 20% Chardonnay; 18 months on lees; fresh strawberry, toast, mineral, crunchy red fruit.
A vineyard map plotting the 29 varietals.
2014 Arneis; soft, perfumed and elegant; melon, peach, honey, rose.
2013 Chardonnay; 20 months in 500L French oak; MLF; complex! Cream, butter, toast, cooked apple, great acid and lemon on palate, mineral, vanilla
My forecast or most evenings…
Pinot Gris. Orange tinge with 4 days skin contact. Mineral, spiced, chamomile, apricot.
2011 Pinot Noir; 24 day skin contact; 18 months in barrel; ripe dark cherry, smoke, earth, strawberry compote, pepper, tamarind.
Simple and beautiful outdoor seating for their Michelin starred restaurant.
2013 Zweigelt; 21 days skin contact; aged in oak and on lees for 20 months; MLF; spiced dark plums and cherry with vanilla, refreshing acid with a tannic grip. Would be amazing with venison.
2006 Spirit of Marlborough; 50% Cabernet Franc 50% Merlot; aged 30 months in barrel, another 7 years in bottle before released; noticeable yet supple tannins, vibrant cherry and vanilla on nose, more sharp blackcurrant on palate with smoke, earth, leaf and tobacco. Delicious.
Herzog cellar door
2012 Montepulciano; 30 months oak; a big shouty unapologetic Italian! I love the spirit of this wine. Spiced, sharp fruit, big tannin.
With #NZV16 coming to an end, I have a wonderful video treat for you all.
Join me as I chat with the talented winemaker, Andrew Petrie, and get his thoughts on how the style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has changed over the years, what’s hot for the 2016 vintage and also a bit of inside knowledge on the wonderful Wither Hills fortified wine – Legado.
Did I mention we have finished 12 hour shifts?!
It’s back to 8 hours a day for us winery peoples and how thrilled we are. Today was our first revisiting these more normal working hours so we made the most of the daylight and headed off to Pollard Park for a BBQ and beers. Big ups to Viktor and Pavlina for cooking up a storm.
Today we are in the lab with the wonderful Peter!
The lab excites me. It radiates a calm, controlled focus during the often chaotic moments that vintage can present. Or perhaps it’s the stash of chocolate and sweets that I often see in there that elevate my pulse rate… Either way, it’s a great space with some wonderful characters manning the bunsen burners (and other equipment I have no idea what to call).