An invitation from Wines of Martinborough to spend a couple of days in the region was an offer I couldn’t refuse. It meant I could finally get to use my new camera but, looking at my distinctly amateurish snaps, have realised I’m going to have to get over my paranoia at taking pictures of winemakers. I loathe having my own photo taken, so (probably wrongly) assume that everyone else does too.
Margaret Hanson, co-owner of The Elder Pinot was our guide and she proved to be a treasure. Usually winery visits go on much longer than anticipated which causes a domino effect. By the time you get to the last visit, the winery owner has been waiting for ages which always makes for a slightly tense experience. Fortunately Margaret was ruthless in making sure everyone got the same, allotted amount of time and chauffeured us around with good grace and a sense of humour.
An excellent idea was to assemble a group of 2011 pinots for us to taste, back at the hotel. This meant all wines were tasted blind in the same condition, from the same style of glass at the same temperature. A much more even and fairer playing field.
Helen Masters and Phyll Pattie (Ata Rangi) discussing clonal selection
The irrepressible Roger Parkinson (Nga Waka)
Bob discusses residual sugar and phenolics with John Kavanagh (Te Kairanga). Impressd that I got John slightly out of focus . . .
Poppy Hammond of Poppies Martinborough where we had a great vineyard lunch
Carl Fraser (Murdoch James)
Apparently this is hilarious. I think you may have to know something about sport . . . .
I’ll post my notes on the 2011s tomorrow.
Disclaimer : I paid for my own flight to Wellington and train fare to Featherston. Wines of Martinborough hosted me, paid for one night’s accommodation and the return flight to Auckland.