Posts Tagged ‘Torlesse Wines’

Waipara New Zealand Food and Wine Festival

February 21, 2012

Looking for a fun food and wine event? Check this one out just north of Christchurch and a just around the corner on the calendar.

Waipara Valley Wine and food festival 

March 3, 2012 – first Saturday in March

The most exciting wine and food region in New Zealand presents our annual festival. Every year we celebrate the upcoming harvest with a festival. After the earthquake damaged the Glenmark church last year, the festival has moved to a new home in another stunning Waipara Valley environment.

Over 20 wineries and many local food producers will come together in the beautiful Waipara Valley setting of the Mud House Winery and Cafe, serenaded by:

  • Herbs
  • Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra
  • Christchurch Pops Choir

Join us for a wonderful day of wine, food and music. Observe cooking demonstrations, and be encouraged to make your own Waipara Valley platters with ingredients from the food producers themselves.

The festival is located just 50 minutes north of Christchurch at the Mud House Winery and Cafe, 780 Glasnevin Road, State Highway 1, Waipara.

PS — If your calendar is booked for this weekend just plan your own private Waipara Food and Wine tour at your next opening – don’t forget to bring your friends.

Wild Country New Zealand BBQ Leg of Lamb

April 13, 2009

Here is a fun recipe from  Wild Country New Zealand. They hand make a range of delicious gourmet condiments using many locally grown ingredients from the Waikato in New Zealand.

BBQ Leg of Lambuntitled-1

1.75 – 2kg leg of lamb carvery leg or boned.
¼ cup lemon juice
3 – 4 strips of lemon rind, chopped
½ cup Wild Country Garlic Infused Olive Oil
a handful of oregano leaves, washed, destalked and chopped
1 teaspoon of maldon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup white wine

Place lamb in a large non corrosive dish and pour lemon juice over, turning lamb to coat. Combine oil, oregano, salt and black pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Using a spoon or your hand rub the inside cavity of the lamb as well as the outside. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Transfer lamb to roasting pan, spoon over any herb mixture and juice left in dish, then add white wine. Truss the lamb with string to hold it into shape.
Place lamb on a rack in the roasting dish and then BBQ with the hood down for at least 30 minutes per 500g of meat.

If you don’t have a hooded bbq simply place meat on the grill and you may need to cover with a little tinfoil to hold the moisture in.
Remove lamb from roasting pan and rest in a warm place for 15 minutes before carving.

Wine Pairing

This dish is well suited for either a New Zealand pinot noir or if you are fortunate enough to find a well aged Bordeaux blend from Waiheke Island.

Wines to seek out Torlesse Wines, Bannock Brae Estate, Domaine Georges Michel or Peninsula Estate.

Vintage Update: Torlesse Wines Waipara Valley New Zealand

February 8, 2009

Dick and Vivian Pharis are co-owners of the McKenzie’s Road Vineyard in Waipara New Zealand and shareholders in Torlesse Wines. For everyone who thinks owning a vineyard is a romantic adventure take a moment and read through Dick’s note about what is happening in the vineyard right now.

Well, we (Vivian and a crew of 3 workers) have just finished crop thinning (throwing grapes on the ground) in the Gewurz, which has set profusely this year on every cane laid down. Hard work and most workers don’t understand why they are “wasting all those nice grapes”. Anyway, crop load is now (hopefully) in balance with photosynthetically useful canopy of leaves.

Same exercise was done ca. 2 weeks ago with our Pinot Noir. Our west block PN (Clone 10/5) is being set up for spur pruning this coming winter — implications are a lower crop load in 2010 [with luck, no fruit thinning needed], more upright canes next year (less 2nd set since vertical canes maintain a dominance over lateral buds. When the upright fruiting cane [or next year’s laydown fruiting cane] leans out of the vertical, that dominance over lateral buds diminishes. Once the “lean begins”, the lateral buds break out of their “arrested state” and start to grow, produce flowers and those flowers, in turn, produce 2nd set clusters of green immature fruit. 2nd set fruit competes somewhat with 1st set fruit for products of photosynthesis.

However, the main problem with 2nd set fruit is that early 2nd set that occurs in the fruiting zone “almost ripens” (and looks “beautiful” and is picked by naive pickers at ca. 18 Brix). Presence of 2nd set fruit clusters also precludes picking by machine because those big fat clusters of immature 2nd set fruit sometimes vibrate off and fall into the ripe fruit mix — 12-14 Brix, tart green berries are not a favoured flavour for Burgunday style wine.

Next chore is a opening the fruit zone a bit more in the chardonnay by light hand leaf plucking and lateral pulling/snipping (in the crotch of the vine).

Then, on to the Riesling for more fruit thinning on young plants which are obviously overcropped.

Finally, the Merlot requires a bit of hand leaf plucking and dropping of “wimpy fruiting canes” with 2 and 3 clusters but only 1 or 2 leaves!

This has been an unbelieveably good year in Waipara for fruit set on virtually all varieties.

While all this is going on, we’re running bird netting, 1st on the Pinot Noir, then the Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurz and the Chardonnay, et al, ad nauseum. 

The birds know where the good fruit is and they love the care and attention the grapes recieve at Torlesse Wines in Waipara New Zealand.

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.








Torlesse Pinot Noir

November 17, 2008
For the past decade, New Zealand has been a rising star in the world of Pinot Noir. Bottlings from small producers like Torlesse showcase the beautiful character and elegance that result from careful nurturing in the vineyards and cellar. This Pinot has it all ? sweet plummy fruit, subtle spiciness and the refined complexity that mark a classic Pinot Noir. Torlesse winemaker Kym Rayner practically coddles this wine. He gains maximum color and full flavor extraction by fermenting in small vessels, hand-plunging the cap and allowing the wine to sit another 10 days on the grapeskins. In the classic Burgundian style, the wine is gently pressed in a traditional basket press and aged in French oak. Lots of work by Kym means an exceptional wine for us! This Pinot is excellent with lamb, beef and full-flavored pasta dishes.

New Zealand Pinot Noir Tasting

November 17, 2008

Interesting Pinot Noir tasting in New Zealand last week. This tasting had a different twist in that both consumers and wine professionals were given the chance to taste and ackowledge their favorites.

They did agree that New Zealand is crafting some very lovely Pinot’s right now and much pleasure for those who seek them out.

Torlesse Wines, winemaker Kym Rayner has a special project called Omihi Road that was a consumer favorite.

Video summary of the event is located at New Zealand’s TV 3

September 25, 2008

photo credit ©Allan Johnston 2008

What Do You See? 

Here is New Zealand photographer Allan Johnston’s philosophy that guides his eye when creating the stunning images of New Zealand wine country. Below is a comment from an earlier post:

  • – “I have used the natural and man-made lines in the landscape to draw your eyes into the photograph and lead you somewhere, such as a road or row of vines. What you see beyond the lines, nobody knows, as we all see something different, to take away a different piece of my world and what I see.”  Allan Johnston

It is interesting to listen to people I have met over the last few years selling New Zealand wine. It’s true everyone sees something different.

One told the story of visiting an old world winery and how their guide was so excited to show them the new lab. I guess when your winery looks a bit like a small oil refinery, the lab is pretty important. These certainly exist in all wine regions.

At the next stop it was all about the vines, this one is easy to understand. They drink their own wine.

Another compared the challenges a parent would have sharing time with a small family versus a large one and suggesting the more vines the more diluted the care.

While traveling after lunch one day to a hillside vineyard in Waipara Valley I saw something myself. While I remember the calmness of this location, it was this comment by Vivian Pharis of Torlesse Wines, that really caught my attention:

  • – “by the time these grapes are harvested, each vine will have been touched by human hands at least five times during this vintage”

Photo Dick Pharis Torlesse Wines

That’s a lot of love going into the grapes, imagine the wine!

Some one else might see real estate play.

Potential to go on and on is real.

Allan is right, we all see something different and that is why evenings with wine, food and friends are so enjoyable. Everyday we have the opportunity to experience something special. We just have to stop and look.

What do you see?