jamie goode's wine blog: NZ (2)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

NZ (2)

Of course, my first impressions of New Zealand were totally wrong. New Zealand totally rocks....man.

After the rather complicated journey to Auckland, by virtue of a couple of neatly connecting internal flights I arrived in Dunedin just an hour later than I should have (and Air NZ charged me just a modest $65 even though I'd missed my non-refundable, inflexible Christchurch to Dunedin flight). I did manage to lose my primary credit card along the way, but fortunately I carry two of them specifically for this reason.

I dumped my stuff and met a couple of colleagues for dinner, which was a jolly affair at a seafood restaurant, where we tried a couple of Central Otago wines - a Bald Hill Riesling (dry, very fruity and nicely intense) and a 2004 Gibbston Pinot Noir (expressive, bright, drinking nicely). On the way back from dinner we were amazed by the number of drunk students we encountered. Dunedin is full of them, it seems.

Yesterday was fun: after getting the preparation for the symposium out of the way by 11 am, I persuaded a colleague with a hire car to take us for a trip to the Otago Peninsula. We visited Taiaroa Head, which has a really important Albatross colony - unfortunately, you can't see them at the moment because they're choosing their new partners, or something like that (they only get to mate every other year), but it was very pretty. Then we went for a delightful hike through the Pyramids to Victory Beach, where we found a colony of seals lounging around on the rocks.

At the reception yesterday evening two very nice wines were served: a St Clair Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough (sorry, can't remember the block number) that was really refined, and a Valli Pinot Noir from Central Otago, which was also refined and quite full bodied.

Aside: One thing I learned yesterday is that a real problem for agriculture in the region is a pest algal species called Didymo. Also known as 'rock snot', this is a diatom that has been invading waterways, and it causes real problems with irrigation equipment. Just thought I'd share this.



At 8:12 PM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...


It would not have been because they were choosing mates, but the nesting season is upon the colony. The best time to visit is from Christmas onwards, sadly, when the chicks are coming out of the eggs and the mothers are on the move. That is also the time that the fledging birds start trying to learn to fly, which is amazing to watch.

But there is a lot of luck involved with the albatross colony.

Was the Valli Pinot a recent vintage? If it is from 2006, it would have been from either Gibbston, Bannockburn or Waitaki.


PS - if you come back to Auckland next week and have a spare moment, all previous offers stand

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Jules said...

Exams are just finishing in Dunedin (medical, law, humanities and sciences primarily) so its party time.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home