Archive for the ‘Wine Making’ Category

New Zealand Chardonnay – The Missing Story

April 6, 2010

Everyone knows the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc story. Some know the New Zealand Pinot Noir story. A few know the New Zealand Aromatics story.

Most are missing the New Zealand Chardonnay story.

Kumeu River Wines established in 1944 when Mick and Katé Brajkovich and their son Maté first came to the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km northwest of Auckland City.

Still very much a family wine company as son Michael is making a stunning range of wines – including Chardonnay. Brothers Milan and Paul are actively involved in the vineyards and marketing. Sister Marijana is also part of the family business on the finance side. All under the direction of Managing Director Melba Brajkovich.

After studying Oenology at Roseworthy College in South Australia where he was Dux in 1981, Michael Brajkovich returned to the family vineyard and winery in Kumeu to take up responsibility for wine production.

Since then he has travelled extensively through the world’s wine areas and had the opportunity to spend the 1983 vintage in France with the reputed house of Jean Pierre Moueix in Libourne, near Bordeaux. Michael was New Zealand’s first Master of Wine which he achieved in 1989.

It is the Chardonnay that has enjoyed the greatest critical acclaim and success in international markets, particularly in the United States. The “Wine Spectator” magazine has placed Kumeu River Chardonnay in its annual list of the top 100 wines on five occasions. In 1996, the Kumeu River Chardonnay 1994 was ranked at Number 6.

Today, the 2010 Chardonnay is quietly fermenting away. Here is a quick video update on the 2010 harvest at Kumeu River.

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Can New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Age Well?

November 12, 2009

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is always thought best consumed early in its youth. For many this is true and now there is an emerging group of New Zealand wine producers whose efforts will continue to delight for several years.

A recent event in New Zealand invited John Avery to discuss and taste some past vintages of Sauvignon blanc. You can read the entire article here ………

Christchurch/Southern New Zealand wins wine capital of the world title

October 15, 2009

Christchurch/Southern New Zealand has been selected as the New Zealand representative on the prestigious Great Wine Capitals Global Network. 

The Great Wine Capitals network, which includes as members wine regions such as Bordeaux, France and San Francisco/Napa Valley in the US, is an international network of major wine producing regions which aims to promote tourism, education and business exchange.

The Christchurch City Council-led bid to join the international network incorporates the wine growing regions of Canterbury, Waipara Valley, Marlborough and Central Otago. As the largest wine-growing region in the South Island, Marlborough took a key role in the bid.

Click here to read the rest of the announcement…..

Eveline Fraser to Join Daniel Le Brun as Chief Winemaker

July 23, 2009

***PRESS RELEASE***

July 2009 NO1 Family WB

 

No.1 Family Estate, New Zealand’s only winemaker focusing exclusively on the production of Methode Traditionnelle has appointed Eveline Fraser to share the role of Chief Winemaker with proprietor, Daniel Le Brun. 

Fresh from her position as Senior Winemaker at Marlborough’s Cloudy Bay, Eveline’s experience in the production of Cloudy Bay’s cult sparkling wine, Pelorus will contribute valuable experience to the company’s winemaking team.  Daniel comments on Eveline’s appointment, “We are delighted to welcome Eveline to the team. Our families have been friends for 30 years and it is wonderful that we can now share our passion for making great sparkling wines.” 

Using only specialised equipment imported from Champagne, Eveline will join the family-owned producer to continue the ritual of hand-crafting superb Methode Traditionelle focusing on just five very special wines; Cuvée N°1, a non-vintage blanc de blancs made from 100% chardonnay, Cuvée Number 8, a non-vintage blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Reserve Cuvée No.10  and Cuvée Virginie – both limited edition wines and only made in the finest of years and now for the first time, a rose made from 100% Pinot Noir.  

No. 1 Family Estate has grown steadily since its establishment eleven years ago and with numerous international trophies, gold medals and five-star awards, is looking forwards to a rewarding future. 

For further details please contact: 

Daniel Le Brun   021 539 338  

Adele Le Brun  021 982 192

Bio Dynamic New Zealand Wines

June 10, 2009

The Hippy Gourmet is traveling through New Zealand and has a really nice video from Seresin Estate in Marlborough. Check it out and share with others.

Wine Library TV: Gary Vaynerchuk’s daily wine video blog

June 2, 2009

Daniel Schuster from the Waipara Valley in New Zealand continues his discussion with Gary V about the delicious wines he produces in New Zealands South Island.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Wine Library TV: Gary Vaynerchuk’s da…“, posted with vodpod

Talking New Zealand Wine and More with Daniel Schuster – Part 1 – Episode #684

May 28, 2009

If you think you understand New Zealand wines, this interview with Daniel Schuster will open your eyes to both the history and what you are probably missing. Go, seek and then smile!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Talking New Zealand Wine and More wit…“, posted with vodpod

 

 

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Worlds Most Popular and Least Understood Wine

January 22, 2009

New Zealand Sauvignon blanc could be one of the world’s most popular wines and at the same time the least understood. When you pause and consider that over 85% of New Zealand’s wine producers make less than 25k cases of wine per year, yet the world is generally exposed to the production from the remaining 15%.

Granted, this 15% has done a tremendous job of marketing a singular story, the really exciting side of New Zealand is this large group of micro producers.

This group has regional diversity, winemaking styles that vary and generally a very hands on approach in their vineyards. Most are both wine growers and wine makers. In other words they can honestly be viewed as Estates.

New Zealand wine writer Michael Cooper recently wrote about this in the New Zealand Listener. His article has some interesting comments.

  • …the classic French grape variety also thrives in other regions, from Hawke’s Bay to Waipara…
  • … from Hawke’s Bay grapes and modelled on the famous dry whites of Graves, in Bordeaux, swings the spotlight on our alternative sauvignons.
  • UK wine writer Tom Cannavan argues that ‘‘the ‘typical’ New Zealand sauvignon is not a food wine, and is rarely subtle or complex … the style is becoming a caricature: aromatic fireworks and a dollop of residual sugar to balance searing acidity has become a recipe by which some churn out a ‘product’, rather than a wine”.
  • … is critical of the common practice in New Zealand of making sauvignon blanc slightly sweet, “a style where one glass is definitely enough
  • … Surely the world expects sauvignon blanc to be dry white wine. I certainly do!”

The article continues to highlight several producers who understand the difference between “fine wine and a refreshing beverage”.

This is just one of many comments I hear about the current state of New Zealand wine. Some predict New Zealand is following Australia toward the same cliff.

My sense is the world is about to discover the “little guys” scattered across New Zealand who make really nice wines, that lead to memorable evenings with friends and food.

You can read the full article on the Listeners web site. Listener

Wine Additives

December 11, 2008

I came across this post by Nick Stephens  the other day and naturally the comment about New Zealand wine caught my attention. I suspect the wine served with dinner at Nick’s would be pretty special.

The comment was:

“I also met 2 charming Antipodeans from New Zealand who were working in Bristol to whom I apologised beforehand about part of my talk re the additives in cheap New Zealand wines.

Their reply was “Please don’t apologise. It’s a well known fact back at home that the cheaper wines are produced for the masses and the locals won’t buy it – so we send it over to you!”

The additive comment reminded me of an article some months ago in the LA Times about exactly this subject. It is a pretty lengthy article and very informative to read thru. These methods are most likely used in all wine producing regions and not exclusive to New Zealand.

It is a good reminder that some wines begin in the vineyard and are finished in the lab.

Good effort by Bonny Doon to lead the way in telling us what goes in the bottle.

The  two Kiwi’s did get it right when they replied they keep the good stuff at home. Finding these New Zealand gems really is a treasure hunt. When you find them, you will know you are in a good wine shop or restaurant.

New Growing Season at Torlesse Wines

December 9, 2008
61447 Torlesse 08 Sets PRF

Now Available in USA

I just received this new vintage update from Kym Rayner winemaker at Torlesse Wines in the Waipara Valley.

Torlesse Wines is typical of many artisan handcrafted wineries in New Zealand. If you visit the winery you will be hosted by Kym, his wife Maggie or Paul Hewitt the assistant wine maker. This is pretty cool.

One of the special characteristics of Kym’s wine is the ability to improve over time in the bottle. New Zealand has yet to achieve this recognition and Kym will be one of the many winemakers who is able to show the extra effort in the vineyard pays rewards for us consumers down the road.

Kym Rayner’s Comments  on the 2009  Growing  Season

“The winter of 2008 was normal to bordering on cold with a snow fall in June that settled on the ground at the winery

Late winter rains were very heavy in July and about 3 weeks later in August resulting in flooding around the winery.

Since August, rainfall has been slight torlesse-mapand while we are happy with low rainfall, the farming community around Waipara and in fact much of the East coast of NZ is very dry. We planted some Pinot Gris in late October and have been watering since then

The other significant fact is Waipara had no frost events or no visible damage on our vineyards at least. This coupled with warm dry conditions has meant early flowering and pretty good set.

The only negative is these conditions are also ideal for powdery mildew so there are plenty of sulphur sprays going on. This is an acceptable spray from an organic/sustainable approach.

Our vineyard has been quite untidy this year as we are spraying less herbicide and leaving a wider range of ground cover to bring in more insect diversity, hopefully beneficially,  like lady birds, spiders and bees and the predator wasps.

Things are shaping up for an excellent vintage.”

Thanks Kym, for sharing and letting us know there are some good things to look forward to.

 

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