Welcome to the February 2011 issue of the Gladstone Vineyard Grapevine.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
EVENTS, MUSIC & MORE
Happy New Year! Having been brought up in Scotland I am conditioned to wish people a "happy new year" when I see them for the first time after 1 January. Traditionally you do that right through January, so I'm just a little bit late this year!
I hope the summer and the festive time has been good for you. We have had some wonderful family time over the past couple of months, from celebrating my aunt's 80th birthday, through a great family Christmas here at Gladstone, and then some relaxing time by Lake Taupo. Our niece Susan was able to escape snow-covered Britain and spend some time catching up with us all. She became a fan of 12,000 Miles Pinot Noir too, so the pressure is on to make the wine available more easily in the UK!
But the memories of summer holidays are fading fast. The season is moving quickly towards vintage, we are busy with some fantastic events at the winery, and David and I are off on the wine sales trail again.
In terms of the vineyard, it's been a great season so far. The spring was kind, with little if any frost worries. And then flowering in early December went through perfectly with light winds and warm weather. That means good and even fruit set, hopefully giving us even ripening and fruit in good condition. The summer has been warm and dry, perfect for grape growers if somewhat harder for the local farmers. The nets are now all on, about two weeks earlier than usual. Quite a different season from last year's cool and wet conditions. It's a chance now for the vineyard team to get a bit of a break before vintage starts in late March.
Getting the fruit right in the vineyard is just the first (and necessary) step in the challenging journey that is currently the wine industry. As a colleague who runs a far larger winery than Gladstone Vineyard said, we are dealing with the trifecta out there – oversupply, economic recession and challenging exchange rates. It means we have to produce world class wine, stay light on our feet, continually review and adjust as necessary our product mix. All to ensure we can supply the customer with a wine that they value and hopefully ultimately will go out of their way to find.
We are proud of the continual good reviews and accolades that our wines receive round the world.
Our world class pinot noirs are now circling the world. The trophy winning Gladstone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 has been selected for Air New Zealand business and premier economy class for the next six months. And as a further delight, our 12,000 Miles Pinot Noir 2009, which was awarded a Gold Medal and Top 100 status in the prestigious Sydney International Wine Competition, is one of the pinot noirs currently being poured in economy class by Air New Zealand. So it's a wonderful double whammy for Gladstone Vineyard wines on Air New Zealand flights just now! Closer to home we have had some wonderful reviews by New Zealand wine critics such as Michael Cooper, Raymond Chan and Yvonne Lorkin ("What a wine Jim!")
Available at cellar door, and on limited release round the country is the classic Gladstone Vineyard Riesling 2010. A dry wine, it shows varietal purity and intensity, with vibrant lime aromatics. One to drink now, or squirrel away for up to ten years.
Our Cellar Door Manager Leo's favourite continues to be the stylish Gladstone Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2009. A "grown up" sauvignon, this is not quaffing wine, rather it is elegant, with underlying minerality and a nice acidic finish. Again, no need to hurry here – drink this one all through 2011, and it will last well into 2012 too.... Don't feel pressured to drink this SB when it is young!
But for me, Sophie's Choice is still my drink of choice. And not just to remember the lovely Sophie who sadly died just before Christmas. The wine is weighty, with lovely complexity and ripe fruit, it shows what wonderful match oak and sauvignon blanc can be.
For these and the rest of our wines, check out our website, or come out to the winery. We have some cellar door specials, wines such as our "bubbles" which are only available at cellar door, and occasionally some library wine to taste. And don't leave it too late if you are a Rosé fan. It won't last long, so buy now, or you'll have to wait till October!
We are delighted that our wines are now being distributed nationally by Macvine. They are a great team, knowledgable, hard working, enthusiastic and they like our wines! It is exciting to be working with them and start seeing our wines (both the Gladstone Vineyard range and the 12,000 Miles wines) get more exposure round New Zealand. Hopefully it will make it easier for you to find our wines in your favourite wine store near you. (And if it's not there, ask them why not!) We're looking forward to having Michael and his team join us at the Wairarapa Harvest Festival next month too.
We've recently set up the Gladstone Vineyard Cellar Club – offering savings of up to 30% off retail prices, and the convenience of a regular delivery to your door of our award-winning Gladstone Vineyard and 12,000 Miles wines. This is to recognise and look after our regular supporters.
As a Gladstone Vineyard Cellar Club member, a case of select seasonal Gladstone Vineyard and 12,000 Miles wines will be couriered to you every three months. Other benefits include discounts at cellar door and at our café, access to pre-release and limited edition wines and cellar stock, and exclusive member-only events.
Membership is $250 (incl GST) per delivery, for a minimum of 12 months (or 4 deliveries). Sign up now, and the next delivery will include some vintage gold medal Pinot Noir from our library stock.
For more information or to sign up, click here.
There's a lot going on in the next few weeks...
- First up this Friday 11th February , we have the Topp Twins Summer Hoe Down at Gladstone Vineyard. Door sales are available if you haven't bought a ticket yet. Gates open at 4.30 and the concert starts at 6pm (till about 9pm). Food and wine will be available to purchase, or bring a picnic (and a low chair), and settle in for a great evening with the cream of New Zealand's country and blue grass artists. (A perfect accompaniment for Pinot Gris!)
- Then on Sunday 20th February everybody's favourite Barry Saunders is back at Gladstone Vineyard for a long lazy lunch.... Bookings are strongly recommended, as we are already filling up fast that day. Reserve a table on 06 379 8563 or email us.
There's no shortage of action in March either.
- We are really looking forward to hosting the third biennial Sculpture in the Country on 11 and 12 March, showcasing artworks by some of New Zealand's leading sculptors in our beautiful vineyard setting. Come and meander through the vines and beside the pond and wetlands, discovering wonderful pieces of art, and help decide the recipient of the peoples choice prize of $1,000. All art works will be for sale. Entry on the day supports Wairarapa Womens Refuge. Wine, and other beverages and food will be available, plus local jazz band the Cool Cats will be playing. Check out our website for more information.
...and then its vintage!
- And then, hopefully before the real harvest begins, we are looking forward to the fourth Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival on Saturday 19th March. The Harvest Festival is fast becoming recognised as one of the Wairarapa’s unique, iconic events showcasing sensational wines and food from throughout the Wairarapa region. A relaxed and intimate wine festival, it takes place at the "Cliffs" in Gladstone. Tickets are available through Ticketek. There will be no gate sales.
Thanks for your support and interest in Gladstone Vineyard. Come and see us soon.
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