1978 and the New Zealand fine wine industry was almost non existent. We (Tim and I) were fresh from the “back to the land” movement of the late sixties. We wanted to make beautiful wine. We figured Tim’s masters in Animal Behaviour along with my unimpressive journalism career would be beneficial. Wrong. However we did have youth (temporary), self belief (unwarranted) and friends. At one stage we had four mortgages and three jobs each. The old house at Neudorf had electricity in two rooms, an outside long drop, an inefficient wood stove and no hot water. I look back with no regrets. Because there was so little known about basic viticulture in New Zealand we planted many varieties to see which ones were best suited to our soils. But we did it. We, and a whole heap of people – neighbours, family, friends and some fantastic staff. Each left a mark and many have gone onto work in bigger wineries or plant their own vineyard. Today 31 years later and we never feel we have it all sorted. But we love it and we are still learning, not just about viticulture and wine-making but exporting, currency exchange, the internet, human resource issues, distribution, yeasts and barrels, clones and crop levels. Very few misgivings. Making wine is constantly scary and stimulating. We survive on hard work, high hopes and a dollop of common-sense and cunning.
Dark berry and plum fruit flavours lifted with dark red floral and violet notes, dark herbs and spices. Medium-full bodied, tightly bound and concentrated flavours of dark berries, cherries and plums form a powerful and packed core with an underlying richness. Subtle nuances of spices, dark herbs and oak add interest and detail. The palate is framed by very fine-grained, firm tannins which provide serious mouthfeel, enriched by the fruit sweetness.