Sips from Central Otago

So, here’s the problem. I’m profoundly sad to be leaving Waipara and the good people I’ve met at Greystone in North Canterbury but my consolation prize is I’m going to Central Otago – easily one of the top five regions in the world for Pinot Noir and other cool climate grapes. I’ve flown from Christchurch…

Workin’ it! From the field to the winery at Greystone

  Winemakers love a long, reliable growing season. It makes their lives easier, the wines more consistent and their employers and the bank managers, much happier. But cool climate winemaking is rarely reliable. It’s not often grapes comes off the field without a hitch. Frost risk, for example, looms large. Frost has been known to…

Waipara Valley Terroir

    You can’t drink wine and not consider the geography, botany and geology of the place that goes into your glass. Wine descends from the surface soils, bedrock, aspect, slope, winds and the geological cocktail of minerals and nutrients that feed the viticulture in the region. Most of us tip, pour and drink and…

Row, upon row, upon…

  Greetings from Waipara and Greystone Wines. The hills are alive with the sounds of pickers, bird scare cannons and that distinctive New Zealand exuberance. I’m in the midst of four days of picking and pruning at Greystone Wines. The extraordinarily deep-timbered Nick Gill – an Aussie transplant from the Barossa Valley – has assigned…

If you could see the view…..

  Yup. Is this not heaven? Today I’m lunching at Black Estate, which is in Waipara Valley in the North Canterbury region of New Zealand. It’s the neighboring vineyard to my home for 10 days here in Waipara (pronounced Wi-pra) so essentially I’m doing a competitive check. Once a marketer, always a marketer… I’ve allowed…

In Search of the World’s Best Pinot Noir

  Blind tasting can be a challenge for even the best tasters out there, especially if the wine producer doesn’t follow the rules of “typicity”. Typicity is when the winery produces a wine based on conventional practices or styles established for a particular varietal. For Riesling from Alsace, for example, that means producing a wine…

Let The Journey Begin

Wine is as much about the journey as it is about the fermented fruit juice in the glass. Somehow wine always tastes better when it’s drunk at the source. Nothing beats sharing a glass of Brunello or Pinot Noir at the vineyard with the family who literally put the stakes in the ground or with…