Visitors continue to pour into our tiny Tasting Room where Blair takes them through the full range of our wines accompanied by laughter and good natured banter on all sides. People who can’t fit in just wait outside or wander in the garden.
Friends Misha and Andy came over for dinner the other night and we had Pinot Gris with a delicious buttery chicken liver paté- the pale straw coloured Gris with just a hint of sweetness and gentle acidity was a lovely match. We followed with crispy skin salmon and a well dressed salad which we matched with a lighter Pinot Noir. Pinot is great with salmon, especially a perky, crisp sort of Pinot with strong flavours but not too much depth and complexity. For dessert it was poached Black Doris- plums with a yogurt icecream. We thought a sweeter Riesling was great with it, but by then we couldn’t really tell.
Sustainability is a primary focus in the wine industry today. NZ Winegrowers’ stated aim is to have “all NZ grapes and wine produced under independently audited sustainability schemes by vintage 2012”. The focus is to farm the land without degrading it and to attend to the proper disposal of waste and use of water in the winery, amongst other things. At the Pinot Noir 2010 Conference held in Wellington in February, Andrew Jefford (wine author and columnist) spoke of the three pillars of sustainability, being environmental, economic and social. Food for thought.
The nets which protect the grapes from bird damage went on this week. At Bald Hills we use those massive block-out nets. They are a lot of work. Hard to put on and frequently in need of mending, but worthwhile nevertheless because they enable work to continue beneath them without the need to untie and retie. Waxeyes are a real problem. They enter through the smallest hole and suck the juice from the grapes. Clouds of starlings cruise above looking for big openings and if they get in they can decimate the crop in a short while.
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Our road has still not been sealed but we are assured it is happening “soon”. Happy days!
Estelle and Blair.