Over thousands of years, 5 major Hawke’s Bay rivers moved and formed valleys and terraces to create over 25 different soil types from clay loam, to limestone, to sandy and free draining gravels and red metal.
Read all about NZ’s Premium Red Wine Region or download and read later.
Jase comes from over 15 years in the Wellington Hospitality industry, where he built and managed bars and restaurants, including St Johns Bar and The Occidental.
While living and working in in Wellington Jase gained a passion for wine and achieved the distinction of Master Sommelier level 1.
On moving to Hawkes Bay, with a view to expanding his wine knowledge and a change of lifestyle, Jase contacted Rod McDonald who offered him a job in the prestigious position of cellar rat in the winery.
Jase worked through the fantastic 2013 vintage and continues to lend a hand in the winery when he’s not working in his usual role in sales and marketing for Rod McDonald wines covering the Central and Lower North Island.
Jase started the night with an apology from Rod. Rod was in China with a delegation promoting the virtues of Hawkes Bay’s fine vintners, vigneron’s and négociants. Johnsonville – China; I know what I’d choose too.
After being introduced by our President Anne, Jase launched into the RM Wines philosophy of making wines that promise to deliver great drinking from release right through to giving it time to develop.
Extremely passionate about the RM wines, Jase talked about his own experiences in the winery where he still spends a day a week keeping his hand in the production side. I think this makes for a marketer that knows the wines instinctively, and that instinctiveness comes across.
Jase highlighted just how well respected and in demand Rod is. From winemaker at Vidals where Rod became New Zealand Winemaker of the year in 2006 to making not only his own wines but wines for more than 10 other labels, Rod has developed a cult following.
Jase was right on the money with the wines for the night. The wines selected are a tribute to the winemaker and his team. There was the strong RM distinction of flavour and character in each varietal when you compared it with similar type wines from other winemakers.
Some wines you may not associate right away (Sauv. Blanc and Viognier) but at least you’d know it was better than just a good drop; they were exceptional. Each left you feeling a sample was never going to be enough; hence Jase left enough order forms for each person on your table.
It was hard to pick just one white or red as each wine was distinctive. The highlights for me were the Viognier and Trademark Syrah. The Viognier baked apricot on the nose, rich tropical flavour of pineapple and mango with a long warm spicy finish. The Trademark was simply elegant; reminds me of a lightly spiced plum cake on the nose with a rich mouth feel of dark ripe plums and baked cherry pie with plain yoghurt. The finish was a little tight and sharp so I know I’ll enjoy it in another 10 – 15 years.
Tip: If you can get it, the 2012 Blanket Hills Syrah is the best value Syrah around. Stock up on it before it all goes.
(With Villa Maria coming next month this item might be timely)
It was a successful evening for Villa Maria at last week’s New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato Wine Awards held in Marlborough, winning six gold medals with Villa Maria’s Hawkes Bay Assistant Vineyard Manager Paul Robinson collecting the trophy for New Zealand’s Young Viticulturist of the Year. One of five finalists, Paul was thrilled with his award, “This is my fourth attempt at the title and it feels great to be the winner.”
Placing strong emphasis on viticulture, this is the second time Villa Maria has had a winner take the title. Paul made special thanks to Villa Maria for the opportunities that have been presented during his seven years with the company.
The Young Viticulturist of the Year competition was founded in 2006 and attracts a high calibre of entrants from throughout the country and is recognised within the wine industry as the leading accomplishment for young viticulturists to aspire to and achieve, celebrating the young talent in each wine region.
The contestants showcased their practical skills throughout the competition with the final challenge, a topical speech. Fronting a crowd of 400, Paul confidently spoke about water management in Hawkes Bay’s famous Gimblett Gravels Wine Growing District, and he goes onto compete in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in November.
Emma Taylor, National Coordinator for the Young Viticulturist Competition said, “This year’s event was particularly tough with a very high standard of competitors.”
The annual Bragato Wine Awards celebrate the effort and passion from viticulturists and vineyard management throughout New Zealand. The six gold medals Villa Maria collected are the result of a true culmination between viticulture and winemaking to consistently produce quality wines.
GOLD MEDALS AWARDED
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Chardonnay Keltern 2013
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Chardonnay Taylors Pass 2013
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Semillon 2011
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Noir 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2012
The presenter for this Villa Maria tasting will be Jonathan (Jono) Hamlet of the Joseph Solar Vineyard (manager and viticulturist) in Hawkes Bay – he manages the organics programme for V M nationwide, and this tasting will concentrate on their organic portfolio. Amongst other achievements, Jono is the vice president of the NZ Organic Winegrowers Association. More detail next month.
On offer will be a Gewürztraminer quaffer, then two wines from the Private Bin range, two Cellar Selections and two single vineyard wines, all organic offerings. In order to show some more ‘interesting’ varieties, Villa Maria will arrange for some barrel samples of wines produced from grapes from their organic vineyards i.e. Chenin Blanc. They have over 15 varieties planted in their Hawkes Bay organic vineyard alone so this shouldn’t be a problem!
2014 – And before you know where you are, it’s February. Your committee would like to wish all members, and others with an association to the Cellar Club, all the best in health and happiness for 2014.
If you thought 2013 was a great year then we are sure you are going to enjoy 2014. We have worked hard to get a cross section of tastings and events to please our members. We are starting the year with Wrights from Gisborne, with the promise of an intriguing evening from a recognised organic producer, who is also dabbling with low and no alcohol wines. Makes for an interesting conversation topic, is it a wine or just a fruit juice. Come along and discuss.
Other offerings for the year are planned to include Alpha Domus (Hawkes Bay), Penfolds Bin Releases (Barossa), Wooing Tree (Central Otago), Moana Park (Hawkes Bay), Milton Estate (Gisborne), Rod McDonald Wines (HB again), and hopefully one from Martinborough later in the year. Working on the usual Festives Wines and two dinners as well.
So a full and interesting year in prospect and we trust you will fully enjoy the tastings and activities arranged.
Come and join us to taste the best of Hawke’s Bay wine!
This is a special event we hold only once a year. 21 wineries showing over 170 wines at 1 place at 1 time!
It would be impossible to see this many Hawke’s Bay wines and talk to this many Hawke’s Bay winemakers in one day, anywhere else.
BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE
CHAFFERS DOCK FUNCTION CENTRE – 18 HERD ST, TE ARO
6:00pm to 9:00pm
TUESDAY 12th JUNE $35.OO per person
We would love to have you join us.
ALLUVIALE ALPHA DOMUS BABICH WINES BLACK BARN CHURCH ROAD CJ PASK CLEARVIEW ESTATE COOPERS CREEK CRAGGY RANGE CROSSROADS CYPRESS WINES ELEPHANT HILL ESK VALLEY LIME ROCK MILLS REEF MISSION NGATARAWA SILENI TRINITY HILL VIDAL ESTATE VILLA MARIA