Vintage 2019: NZ Winegrowers

Small but stunning. A wonderfully warm summer has contributed to a superb vintage for New Zealand’s wine regions, with 413,000 tonnes of grapes harvested during Vintage 2019. Although smaller than anticipated, the quality of the harvest is being touted as exceptional from top of the North to bottom of the South Island.

Photo by Alissa Miller, Market Development Manager, Greystone Wines

New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan says a high-quality harvest is good news for the industry as export growth continues, with an increase of 4% to $1.78 billion over the last year. “We have an international reputation for premium quality and innovation. Every vintage is different, but winemakers are excited about the calibre of wine that will be delivered to the bottle and we are confident 2019 vintage wines will be enjoyed by consumers around the world.” However Vintage 2019 is the third smaller-than-expected harvest in a row, so volume growth is expected to be constrained. “Smaller vintages in 2017 and 2018 meant wineries had to work to manage product shortages, and many of our members hoped for a larger harvest this year.

Another smaller-than-expected vintage will mean more supply and demand tension overall.” says Mr Gregan. Wine is New Zealand’s sixth-largest export good, and New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries.

Francesca Menzies 80th birthday

Francesca Menzies celebrated her 80th birthday a wee while back. Francesca doesn’t attend Club events very often these days, (a bit difficult now that she lives in the Nelson region) but she has been a member of our club since the very early days and is one of our valued life members. She has served on our committee as well as having terms as Vice President and President of the Club. A somewhat belated congratulations Francesca.

Best wishes and keep well.

Central Otago – Negociants, Sept 2019

This tasting will be lead by Negociants. They will be concentrating on two Central Otago Wineries. First will be Two Paddocks, well known through Sam Neill of course. The second is Misha’s Vineyard.

Little to report at this stage but as usual, more closer to the tasting.

The last paddock added to the Two Paddocks group. Their last acquisition (2013), located in the very heart of Central Otago wine on Felton Rd. in Bannockburn. Another superb site, now giving them fruit from all three major Central Valleys. It is six hectares, all Pinot Noir. (Ed; Maybe I can’t count but this seems like more than two paddocks.)
A landscape view of Misha’s Vineyard. Winter obviously

Trade Kitchen – Mid Year Dinner

Your committee found the Trade Kitchen staff to be very accommodating, making the organisation of this dinner easy. The venue worked reasonably well although the noise level in the bigger room made it hard to hear some conversations. The dinner was very enjoyable and the bubbles worked well with the dinner.

It was a good night and people seemed to enjoy it. The committee has received some good feedback about the dinner from attendees. The message seems to be that members like the higher level of the restaurant in town and close to public transport.

Missing coat, Regional Wines, Tasting deals, Saigon Van Grill

That missing coat

The issue of the missing coat remains unsolved. Can I ask those who attended the Dinner to check their wardrobes? Someone has mistakenly taken Mary Taylor’s coat and left their own. If you have the wrong coat please let me know and I will arrange a transfer.

Regional Wines newsletter

Members might be interested in the Regional Wines newsletter. This is really a low key weekly prompt about their tastings and specials, rather than a full-blown newsletter. Members who may be interested in some of the events that Regional run can go online to Regional’s website – the prompt comes out mid-week each week.

Tasting deals

A reminder to members that we are keen to attract new members. With this in mind, we have two membership deals. 1) If a member brings along a guest the member gets 50% of the door price. 2) if two guests come to the meeting then they pay one door price. Bring along friends etc who are interested in wine.

Report back from Saigon Van Grill

Many of you will have attended the Saigon Van Grill dinner last year. The servings were somewhat disappointing and there were complaints. Your committee has been in contact with the restaurant over a period of time resulting in an eventual small refund. Not enough to share around those attending so we used it to purchase the Prosecco for this year’s July dinner. Went down well we thought.

See you on Wednesday for yet another great tasting.

Robin Semmens

Congratulations Derek, 80

Every once in a while the Club creates its own news, or at least things happen to members that are newsworthy. This month  I have opted against searching out a New Zealand wine story in favour of a little celebration of our own.  Back in May Derek Thompson (a foundation Member of our club) turned 80.  He had a small celebration to mark the occasion at which the birthday cake pictured below was a feature.   There are three things worthy of mention about the cake.  Obviously the first is Derek’s achievement at reaching 80, the second is that the prints on the cake represent his dedicated companion, Hershey the cat, and thirdly, but by no means lastly, the cake was provided by Adeline Porter, a fellow member.  I knew there was a good reason why Derek surrounds himself with women at the top table.

Wine humour

Just for the fun of it.

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” – Clarence Darrow
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?” – Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas
“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” – Abraham Lincoln
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx

Waimea Estates preview August 2019

Waimea Estates is one of Nelson’s larger producers with over 140 hectares of their own vineyards. The cool climate and alluvial soils of Nelson’s Waimea plains combined with the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand allow vibrant, fruit-focused wines to be made.

Waimea’s export varieties are based on highly awarded Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and over the years Waimea has gathered 150+ Gold Medals and 26 Trophies across nine different wine styles – proving the versatility Waimea and the Nelson region provides.  More next month.

A Colab view of Europe – Review June 2019

Simon Bell, the Representative for Colab Wine Merchants, presented a taste of Europe. There was a good turnout of 33 members and 3 guests. Everyone enjoyed the evening. It was a different style of meeting with lots of member interaction. Simon gave out larger glasses to demonstrate the difference using a large glass versus a small glass. It was an interesting evening with the tasting aimed for the layperson. There were 14 orders with a total of 96 bottles. Simon was pleased with the meeting and is keen to do another meeting. To revisit the wines included:q

Alpha Domus Collection Sauvignon Blanc (NZ)
Vivanco White Rioja (Spain)
Guerrieri Rizzardi Pinot Grigio IGP Veneto (Italy)
Domaine Dupre Bourgogne Chardonnay (France)
Vivanco Rioja Crianza (Spain)
Vivanco Rioja Reserva (Spain)
Chateau Mauciol Cotes du Rhone Villages Red (France)

One of the prospects he discussed, and would be happy to run, would be a non-threatening “Wine Options” evening. Your committee will consider this.

$1 Margaret River Sauvignon / Semillon, Visit from Mel 

$1 Margaret River Sauvignon / Semillon

I never thought I would have to confess to anything along these lines, but while visiting our daughter in Sydney last week we actually drank a wine that she had only paid $1 for the bottle. To put as rosy a picture on this as is possible, it was an Australian dollar. Our daughter works for Woolworths and they have a staff store at their head office, so it was a staff discount, but still…….

As I wrote the last paragraph I thought to myself, what on earth’s name is the internet for, so I looked. The wine was a Cape Mentelle (Margaret River) Sauvignon / Semillon blend so I visited their website. It is advertised there for A$26. What a bargain, should have got a dozen.

Visit from Mel

Some of those who joined us more recently may not remember Mel Ingalls. Mel was a member of the Club for some time and a committee member with a number of those still on the committee now. He left to return to his native America. It was, therefore, quite an occasion that he was able to join us at the June tasting while he is spending a few weeks back in New Zealand. You are welcome Mel as always.

See you on Wednesday, with a lovely evening in prospect.

Robin Semmens

Tuku Māori Winemakers Collective | 26 Apr 2019

Tuku is the world’s first Māori Winemakers Collective, bringing together awarded Māori wine companies based on their shared values of land, family and hospitality.

TUKU Māori Winemakers Collective
TUKU Māori Winemakers Collective

The collective is made up of majority Māori-owned, NZ-owned wine companies: Kuru Kuru, Ostler, Steve Bird, te Pā and Tiki Wines, offering a wide range of premium varietals from the most famous wine-growing regions of Aotearoa.

The name Tuku comes from the Māori art of Tukutuku weavings, which are decorative wall panels. These panels were lashed or stitched together by people working in pairs from either side, passing the stalks back and forth. The members all share the same values of the land, family and hospitality and by working together, hope to strengthen indigenous winemaking as a whole. There are very few companies that work collectively in this industry that will share ideas, share market resources and share a meal together.

The Tuku collective is united by a common ethos to winemaking, business and life. At the heart are the Māori values of:

KAITIAKITANGA – guardianship of the land and people
Like the majority of New Zealand winemakers, TUKU is all certified sustainable, but they take it a few steps further than that. The collective is all about family, and they want to ensure that they look after our land and people, to make sure future generations get to experience Aotearoa in the same way we have.

The collective supports several organisations dedicated to Kaitiakitanga. In the vineyards, they use various methods to enrich vineyard soils, such as compost, liquid seaweed, molasses and beneficial bacteria and fungi for ground drenching and lambs to graze in the winter. They have a strong focus on re-using and maximise recycling opportunities wherever possible. They all strive to ensure all their actions have the long-term interest of our land at heart.

WHAKAPAPA – our family, our heritage
Whakapapa links people to all other living things, the earth and the sky, and traces the universe back to its origins. TUKU are all extremely proud of their heritage and where they come from and they have many generations working within the companies. They embrace the past, live in the present and look to the future.

WHĀNAUNGATANGA – a sense of family connection
It is a big part of Maori culture to create a sense of belonging and to embrace people into their whānau. It is important for the collective to create meaningful relationships through shared experiences and by working together. They respect and foster relationships within their organisations, within their iwi and within the community. We may not be born of the same parents, but you are still very much part of our whānau.

MANAAKITANGA – hospitality/generosity
TUKU thrives on this. Wine is a great thing to share with friends and family and that is what TUKU is all about. Enhancing that special moment, showing generosity, sharing a slice of New Zealand and embracing you into our whānau.

Māori business are unique because of our culture, our values and our approach.

TUKU believes the future for Māori businesses is bright and there are already many key Māori businesses on the world stage who contribute greatly to the New Zealand economy.

When you buy from local people and their families, you are enabling growth and success for future generations. When buying TUKU wines, you are supporting indigenous producers who are connected to the land and to their wines.