Some two or three years after planting the bulk of our vineyard the question of a Winemaker was raised. At the time among the prominent Winemakers was Grant Taylor. It was a matter of approaching him with our request. As it happened Grant Taylor accepted the job, but not before inspecting the site and assuring himself that our expectations matched his own.
Those were heady days! Grant kept an eye on developments, gave advice, and as the first harvestable fruit ripened he tasted, inspected the seeds, spat and delayed until the perfect coming together of sugars and flavours was reached, and the magic word “pick” was pronounced. We sold our first harvest to Gibbston Valley Wines in 2000 and our second harvest of the pinot noir also went into Grant Taylor’s own label “Valli Bald Hills Vineyard 2001”.
The first of the wines under the Bald Hills brand was the 2002 Pinot Noir and it went on to pick up a Gold Medal at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards along with three others from vineyards in our immediate vicinity.
We knew then that our Bannockburn, Central Otago site had all the ingredients for success!