The guys at Wild Earth wines in Cromwell not only make a damn fine Pinot, they also do a great lunch at their Kawarau Gorge Restaurant. Their specialty is wine barrel smoked fare and we got them to come to our winery the other day to do a mid vintage luncheon for our vintage crew. We had pork belly, tuna, paua, hare confit, salmon and filled aubergines , all barrel smoke cooked. Wow everything was very tasty. They designed and built the smokers themselves, with their own special wood shaving mix. Smoking with a water pan in the barrel keeps moisture levels up and flavor loss minimsed. Its a bit like a Sous Vide machine effect very succulent and juicy. Yum.
We had a marriage proposal at the Farm the other day. A rather nervous Hui, from Singapore was put under enormous, but subtle pressure by our Cellar Door host - Mitch, to do the decent thing with his partner, Christine from Hong Kong. They were talking about long distance romance and Mitch suggested he better do something about it! Apparently he had already decided that he wanted to propose to her at a beautiful winery in New Zealand and hence the trip and his moment had arrived! Needless to say the result was positive Hui needed a drink though to calm down. Hui and Christine, we wish you all the best for your future life together.
Just received the first Pinot grapes from the 2013 harvest. The start of vintage always gives me a buzz and its great to get the first fermenter full. Quality wise 2013 looks to be a stunner!, quite low acids but full flavoured, nice chewy skins and fine, ripe tannins. We have a cool vintage crew this year our new Cellar master is Tim Richards, we have Logan Richardson from Auckland, Sofie Ward from CHCH , Ryan Sherman from Brooklyn, NY and Nicky Dow from Durban, South Africa. My twin boys - Nico and Joe, just finished High School, are also helping before they depart for Europe in May
We had another gorgeous day for the TDW on the weekend. Chard Farm was overrun with bikes and more bikes. For the first time we had runners as well. With the beautiful Autumnal colours in full swing it was a very scenic ride especially around the Shotover delta area. Lola had a great day she lapped up all the attention. The TDW is one of the anchor events of the Easter Queenstown Bike Festival, which is growing bigger and better every year. Queenstown bike mecca - the Whistler of the Southern Hemisphere?