Some Pinot Noir 2013 people

Some snaps from this brilliant Pinot Noir conference in Wellington.

Marquis Sauvage of Burn Cottage, and below the Burn Cottage tattoo on his leg, which took 4 h and was v painful.

Dorien Vermaas of Staete Landt

Larry McKenna and Bob Campbell

Clive Dougall of Seresin

Dawn Davies and Oz Clarke

Sam Neill, Two Paddocks

Duncan Forsyth, Mount Edward

Anna Flowerday, TWR

Jo and […]

In Gisborne with Millton

Annie and James Millton

Annie Millton was honest enough to admit that she’d read the diary wrong and that her and James weren’t expecting me, when she picked me up from Gisborne airport. Despite this, I spent a lovely afternoon and evening with them, when we finally tracked down James in one of his vineyards.

We […]

In Marlborough, and four good visits

I’m beginning to get to know my way around Marlborough now. It’s a region with an incredible story, springing up from nowhere in the 1970s to its current position as New Zealand’s number one wine region.

For many, the Marlborough story is still all about Sauvignon Blanc, but as I was to find on my short […]

Jasper, Rudi and Nick, and the 7 metre Wellington dive!

Wellington is a cool city. On the waterfront there’s a 7 m diving platform that’s very popular on a hot day like today. Jasper Morris, Nick Mills (Rippon) and Rudi Bauer (Quartz Reef) were brave enough to give it a go. Respect!


New Zealand, day 3, in Nelson with Neudorf

Judy and Tim Finn, Nelson pioneers, who established Neudorf in 1978

I worked out that since November 2008, my first visit to New Zealand, I have visited five times in five years. That’s a significant accrual of air miles. But over the course of these visits, I’d never visited Nelson, so as I picked up […]

New Zealand, day 2, Pegasus Bay in the Waipara

Ivan Donaldson

There’s a great story behind Waipara winery Pegasus Bay, which was the second visit of my New Zealand tour.

Back in 1976, Christchurch neurologist Ivan Donaldson had caught the wine bug, and with some of his medical friends planted a 1 acre vineyard in a cold spot on the outskirts of the city. He […]

Q&A on oxygen and wine shipping and bottling

Unloading a wine flextank after shipping

I have just taken some time to answer an email from a TV researcher about wine and oxygen, specifically related to shipping and bottling wine. Because it took a fair while to answer the questions, I thought I’d share my responses here. Yes, geeky technical stuff indeed, but I […]

Some thoughts on Central Otago and the sense of place in wine

As I write I am flying from Queenstown to Christchurch after less than a full day spent in Central Otago, one of the most visually striking wine regions on the globe. While the impressions are still fresh in my mind I wanted to try to capture some of them.

It is remarkable country. The quality of […]

In New Zealand, day 1, Central Otago

It was hard to get my head round the contrast. One day I’m shivering in a snowy, dark-skied London. The next, I’m sitting on an internal flight crossing the dividing range in New Zealand’s South Island, looking down at dramatic snow-capped peaks in laser-sharp light on my way to Queenstown, Central Otago.

I very nearly missed […]

Two good, affordable Gruner Veltliners

I have a soft-spot for Gruner Veltliner, the wonderful Austrian white grape variety that the Kiwis are now beginning to plant.

Here are two good, affordable examples. The problem with cheap Gruner is that it can end up being just a fresh, rather anonymous dry white wine. This pair manage to combine a low price point […]