Meeting the Prime Minister at the opening of the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre

John Key speaking at the opening of the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre

Last night was fun. It was the official opening of the new Brancott Estate Heritage Centre, which has recently been completed. The centre has been built on a small hill overlooking the historic Brancott Vineyard, where Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were planted in 1975. This is an ideal location with superb views, and the centre itself fits into the surrounding environment pretty sympathetically. There’s a 40 seat restaurant here as well as a cellar door facility.

Prime Minister John Key

It was great that Prime Minister John Key was present to open the Centre, and he spoke really well. A relaxed, gifted communicator, Mr Key seems to get the wine industry and its importance to New Zealand’s image abroad.

Adrian Atkinson, me, Oz Clarke and Jeremy Oliver

So when you are asked, ‘would you like to meet the prime minister?’ there’s only one answer. Both Oz Clarke and I had a chance to chat with him, which was very exciting. One of the great things about New Zealand is this refreshing accessibility of politicians. We are media, so we were asked by his people whether this was on the record or off the record. I opted for the latter (otherwise his assistant would have had to stand next to us to record the conversation in case of any misquoting). Mr Key was really charming and easy to chat with.

Me flanked by two WOW (World of Wearable Art) girls

After the reception, we had a nice dinner at Hotel D’Urville. Wine highlights were the Triple Bank Awatere Valley Pinot Noir 2010 (an NZ domestic product, fresh, bright and quite elegant) and the Church Road Cuve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Hawkes Bay (fresh berry fruits with some spice and grip – a really drinkable Hawkes Bay red), as well as the unctuously fruity Brancott Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (a new wine).

2 comments to Meeting the Prime Minister at the opening of the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre

  • Damien

    …and how ironic that Brancott is owned by French company Pernod Ricard; if you can’t beat them, buy them. Not likely to see tee-totaller Sarkozy opening a centre funded by a Kiwi wine company in France in the near future I guess.

  • Wish I had your job!It will be interesting to read your blog on the wines you come across.

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