The second keynote at the recent Pinot Noir 2013 conference was given by actor Sam Neill, who has a vineyard – Two Paddocks – in Central Otago. This was a beautifully delivered bit of stand-up comedy.
Neill begins by showing a video of him standing in his vineyard behind a table laden with bunches of a [...]
Popped into my sister’s for a quick lunch today, picking up our boys who had been staying over while we were at a wedding. Ended up being served three very good wines.
First of all, Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2012. This is the second time I’ve had this wine, and I don’t think there are many [...]
Had a lunch worth commenting on at Caravan in Exmouth Market yesterday. It’s an airy, informal dining room with a menu that focuses on creative small plates, and a cracking, perfectly formed wine list.
Four of us ate well with a selection of the small plates, which were pretty imaginative and quite delicious – probably best described [...]
The final visit of my New Zealand adventure was at Kumeu River, a family-run estate a short drive from Auckland. This is close to where the New Zealand wine industry began in earnest, in west Auckland.
Milan and Michael Brajkovich in Maté’s vineyard
The Brajkovich family moved to New Zealand from Croatia, and the current property was bought [...]
On Friday night I went to a strange but enjoyable concert.
Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson were hosting a gig by the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.
There were quite a few members of this odd ensemble. I counted 9, of which 8 were armed with ukuleles and one with a double bass. Pretty much all of them all [...]
Three visits in Martinborough, on a Sunday where I could have been playing cricket. An English touring side with connections to the wine trade were playing a Kiwi side, and I’d been asked. But I’m conscientious, so I denied the English my slow-medium in-duckers in favour of my schedule, only to find that two of [...]
Pinot Noir kicked off with two contrasting keynote speeches, the first of which was delivered by Matt Kramer of the US publication The Wine Spectator, and author of a string of books whose titles frequently begin with ‘making sense of…’.
Kramer’s delivery is polished and engaging. He begins by talking about Burgundy, the ‘mother house’. ‘It [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]