New Zealand, day 5 - Martinborough/Wairarapa
Four very good visits today. Pictured above, Neil McCallum of Dry River, whose wines are just incredible. I met with him - an engaging, interesting host, and Poppy and Shayne Hammond (below), winemaker and viticulturalist, respectively. The team here is doing a fantastic job.
The viticulture at Dry River is immaculate, with a split canopy system, total leaf pluck in the fruit zone, and reflective sheets under the vine to allow extra UV exposure to the developing bunches.
Then off to see another of the region's stars: Ata Rangi. Pictured above are Phyll and Clive Paton. The wines are beautifully expressive.
Here's the team at visit 3, Martinborough Vineyard: Pete Wilkins (vineyards), Janine Tulloch (general manager) and Paul Mason (winemaking): great hosts, got a good feed, and the wines were spot on. Especially liked the rare Shiraz Viognier, and the super-concentrated low yield 2007 Pinot. Good Riesling, too.
Final visit, before my drive to Napier, was at Gladstone, in the Gladstone district of Wairarapa about 20 minutes from Martinborough. They're making super wines, but also doing good work with their vineyards. Above is buckwheat, used as a cover crop to encourage beneficial parasitic wasps.
It's owned by Scots Christine and David Kernohan (above). Below is one of their vineyards.
Over three hours drive to Napier. Went down to dinner on my own, only to meet up with Tim Atkin and later Oz Clarke. A jolly way to pass the time. Syrah symposium tomorrow.