The relationship of Ben with the land and Luc with the wine is very special! We had the chance to realise that a few months ago when we went down to their Estate to meet them and visit their beautiful site (ok we also tried a few wines...). It’s as authentic as winemaking gets.
Next Thursday, we have the pleasure to welcome Keith Barker, The Landing's vineyard manager in the Bay Of Islands. Haven't heard of it? It is the destination Barack Obama chose to stay at during his visit to Auckland. I mean if it is good enough for the former US President...
The site is basically gifted with some of the best grape-growing land in New Zealand's Northland region, believed to be where the NZ wine history began in 1819 when Reverend Samuel Marsden started planted vines. The Landing vineyard was founded in 2007 covering 9 hectares on a north facing slope overlooking Wairoa Bay. Pretty special place and incredible site! As a result, the wines hold flavours and levels of complexity like nowhere else.
The Landing Wines currently produce Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Rose. Plantings have expanded over recent years to include Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The Chardonnay and Syrah wines have impressed critics since the very beginning, amassing awards from all over New Zealand.
On the 14th of August, we welcome back Hubert Lauriot-Prevost who is going to take us on an intriguing journey through the vineyards and villages of Northern Italy.
Italy produces some of the best wines in the world, no question! At the moment, there are about 350 official Italian wine varieties spread out over the 20 wine regions with rumors that over 2,000 different Italian grapes actually exist.
So, needless to say that it can get a little confusing at times but lovers of fine Italian wine all agree, well worth it.
For this tasting we are focusing on the Northern part of the country, home to two of the most expensive and adored red wines to come out of Italy, Amaroneand Barolo. Together with these amazing wines we will be looking at benchmark examples of Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Valpolicella Ripasso and a couple of other unique but incredibly delicious wines!
The kitchen are already trialing some Italian influenced dishes which we will matched with the wines on the night. It promises to be a very special evening and one not to be missed.
We are welcoming for the 1st time, Chris Canning from Hay Paddock Waiheke Island.
If you are into big delicious reds then this tasting is one not to be missed!
The Hay Paddock vineyard on Waiheke Island was established by Chris Canning in 2003 after he had identified the terroir as perfectly suited to growing Syrah and Bordeaux grapes. Immediately, medals and trophys started flowing, not only nationally but also internationally, putting Waiheke Island on the map for producing world class Super Red. Here are some of their achievements to name a few: 'Best of the Best' NZ Wine of the Year, IWSC Trophy for Best International Shiraz/Syrah, International Wine Challenge Gold and Best in Class, Gold Medal Australian Boutique Winemakers Awards, Double Gold China Awards and many more.
They believe fine wine takes time (and so do we), that's why they age their red wines before releasing them. So when you come to drink them, they're ready to be enjoyed at leisure. Specialising in the production of small volume handmade wines of the highest quality, with a commitment to ageing and refusal to supply supermarkets, is not the most profitable approach but it is the promise of something really special and this is what matters to them!
They are also now producing two immediately appealing delicious wines from Gisborne and Hawke's Bay to quench eager wine drinkers. Thank you for that!
Here is the top notch line-up:
*Hay Paddock 2010 Syrah
*Hay Paddock 2010 Syrah Row 104
*Hay Paddock 2013 Syrah
*Hay Paddock Novelist Syrah 2013
*Hay Paddock Pitchfork Red Blend Hawke's Bay 2016
*Hay Paddock Gypsy Rose 2017
*Hay Paddock Gisborne Chardonnay 2015
2 bottles of the very sought-after Hay Paddock Syrah 2013 will be given away on the night!
Join us for our first Whisky & Beer Tasting, a famous combination/cocktail known as a Boilermaker.
It originated from the States in the 19th century and consists of one shot of whiskey and one beer. It was originally consumed by blue collar workers at the end of a long shift, which is why it’s now become the shift drink of choice among bartenders. It is believed the drink takes its name from the workers who built and maintained steam locomotives in the 1800s. These workers were known to head to the bar at the end of the shift, and a shot of whiskey with a beer became a staple for quickly easing the pain that came from a hard day of back-breaking labor. As it was the drink consumed by boilermakers, it took on the name as well.
While it started as the simplest of drinks designed to indulge oneself in pure drinking, it is now seen as an exciting and complex cocktail with unlimited pairing possible.
We are pleased to welcome two very interesting personalities on the night who will be at the core of the tasting: Hancocks Brand Ambassador and Deep Creek co-owner Scott Taylor. You will have the chance to try on the night 6 top-notch whiskys paired with 6 delicious Deep Creek beers.
A yummy platter will be available to nibble on during the night.
Join us on the 22nd of May at Point Wines for our Huia Tasting with founder and winemaker Claire Allan.
She and her partner arrived in Marlborough in 1990 to work for other wine companies and say they were “completely blown away by the region”. So much so that they utilised their formidable winemaking skills to establish their own label in 1996. The three Huia vineyards are organically and bio-dynamically run. They have a strong philosophy that the creation of good wine and understanding and caring for the environment go hand in hand.
Their wines are all very pure, elegant with great texture, simply delicious! We especially love their Brut Vintage! Gorgeous!
We are proud to have been chosen as a base for the launch of a very exciting new venture, AONZ ( Aotearoa New Zealand) Fine Wine Estates. The company has been co-founded by two major personalities, Steve Smith and Brian Sheth. Steve Smith is renowned for establishing Craggy Range with the Peabody Family and is also one of few qualified Master of Wine's based in NZ. Brian Sheth is a US born Australian investor actively involved in waste management and wildlife preservation who has a strong affiliation and love for New Zealand and in particular its world class wine.
They both share like minded ideas and philosophies when it comes to the New Zealand wine industry, and in particular are very much focused on Single Vineyard showcasing terroir-driven wines that are expressions of great sites from around New Zealand.
The tasting will be conducted by the irrepressible and articulate Steve Smith. A great orator whose knowledge of the industry and NZ wine is second to none.
Their start-up is comprised of two iconic NZ wineries recently purchased, Pyramid Valley and Lowburn Ferry, and their very own brand, Smith and Sheth 'CRU' made from the highest quality fruit selected from very special sites. We were privileged enough to have a sneak preview of the wines recently and can report without doubt that they are truly impressive and representative wines of the land they come from.
Here is the line-up for the night:
*Smith and Sheth 'CRU' Wairau Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
*Smith and Sheth 'CRU' Heretaunga Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2016
*Smith and Sheth 'CRU' Howell Vineyard Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2016
*Smith and Sheth 'CRU' Mangatahi Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2015
*Smith and Sheth 'CRU' Omahu Hawke's Bay Syrah 2014
*Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2015
*Lowburn Ferry The Ferryman Pinot Noir 2014
Sign up and be some of the first to experience the 'CRU' wines.
Chard Farm is not only a superb location. It is one of the pioneer wineries in Central Otago. The land was purchased by Rob Hay in 1987 when viticulture was still being experimented with. The little orchard set up in the 1860's to feed local gold miners at the time is now a thriving 44 hectare vineyard.
A challenging enterprise made possible thanks to hard work, camaraderie amongst pioneers and the absolute conviction that this site was going to make marvels.
John Wallace is Chard Farm Chief Winemaker and has been beside Rob since the beginning. Originally employed as a vineyard hand, he took the reigns in 2002.
He worked in Oregon and California before and is renowned for his mocking sense of humour, tasty beers and gorgeous Chard Farm Pinot Noirs.
Their wines have a specific style described as elegant with a strong terroir expression.
We will be tasting 8 wines including the consistently 5 stars rated Tiger Pinot Noir.
Stafford Road Wine Bar kitchen will be involved as always serving some matching canapes.
Next Thursday, at Point Wines, we have the pleasure of welcoming back Michael Cooper, arguably New Zealand's most acclaimed wine critic. He is deeply entrenched in the New Zealand wine industry and the country's best wineries see his extensive knowledge and experience as a benchmark tool for their work.
His book is a wine bible and easily the best referenced book you will find on New Zealand Wines. Some actually consider it the best buyer's guide on the planet! With over 3000 wines tasted, reviewed and indexed every year it is a must for any lover of New Zealand Wine. The tasting will focus on Michael's top picks of the year together with his best value Red and White wine buys. As an incentive on the night all 12 bottle mixed case orders will receive a personalised signed copy of the 2018 buyer's guide free.
A very informative and entertaining night not to be missed!
Next Tuesday at Point Wines we welcome for the first time Nikolai St George, chief winemaker at Giesen Wines.
He took the helm of the winery last year, after 7 years as chief winemaker with Matua Wines, and he did not come empty handed. He brings with him three consecutive ‘Winemaker of the Year’ titles: New Zealand Royal Easter Wine Show 2015 & 2013 and the 2014 New Zealand International Wine Show.
Giesen as a winery and brand has been extremely successful over the last decade particularly in the Australian market where the estate Sauvignon Blanc became one of the biggest selling white wines in Australia. This has allowed the Giesen Family to re-invest in some prime existing vineyard sites as well as cultivating new vineyards with the view to producing ultra premium wine. If you are lucky enough to attend this tasting you will get a glimpse of where they are at on this journey and let us tell you they are well on their way!!
One of the wines being shown on the night is the sensational Ridge Block Pinot Noir, the 2013 of which was awarded World's Best Pinot Noir at the UK International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2016.
Nikolai will also showcase for the first time his new Limited Release Gemstone Riesling 2017. To be released at the end of the month but having had a sneak preview today very impressive.
Here is the stellar line-up for the night:
*The August 1888 Sauvignon Blanc 2013
*The Brothers Chardonnay 2016
*The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay 2014
*The Brothers Pinot Noir 2015
*The Single Vineyard Series Clayvin Pinot Noir 2013
*The Single Vineyard Series Ridge Block Pinot Noir 2014
*The Single Vineyard Clayvin Syrah 2013
*Gemstone Limited Release Riesling 2017
*The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Clarence Rd Eatery kitchen will assist again with some delectable matching canapes.
What about a glamorous night at Point Wines next Thursday?
We are welcoming Benoit Collard, Global Executive Director of Piper Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck. This will be his first time in New Zealand and this is at Point Wines where the Champagne will be flowing.
Benoit has already had a brilliant career. He is in charge of the development of luxury brands within France and abroad, like Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy and Remy Cointreau. A rare opportunity for a "behind the scenes glimpse" of the luxury world.
Piper Heidsieck is probably one of the sexiest Champagne in the world and is always the star at important artistic ceremonies like Oscars and Cannes Film Festival. Marie Antoinette was actually its first ambassador and Piper Heidsieck is known to have stolen Marilyn Monroe's heart. Over 200 years of glamour and excellence!
We re-discovered this producer a few months ago and we were pretty amazed. A true under the radar gem!
Established in 1984, it is one of the earliest and largest of the Martinborough producers. It was acquired by the Bill Foley family in 2011 who foresaw the incredible potential of the place. They highly invested in the vineyards and the upgrading of the winery facilities as well as succeeded in winning the very talented winemaker John Kavanagh over. Those major achievements really allow Te Kairanga to step up their game and show the quality of their site through the production of first class wine.
The arrival of John Kavanagh as chief winemaker was definitely a game changer. From the iconic Neudorf Vineyards winery in Nelson, John has had a hand in the making of some of the country’s best wines, and this expertise has given Te Kairanga a significant asset. John is no stranger to Martinborough, as previous to his tenure at Neudorf, he made wine at Palliser Estate and Alana Estate. He is fully connected to the soul of the district, his wife Ness is the daughter of Clive Paton, founder of Ata Rangi. In a sense, he’s returned home.
We would love to show you the 'rebirth' of this incredible winery. Their wines are truly outstanding!
Join us next Wednesday the 4th of October for our Rockburn Tasting with winemaker Malcolm Francis.
Taking its name from the rugged rock-strewn, burn-scarred landscape of Central Otago, Rockburn produces premium wines of intense varietal characteristics. Nestled on the 45th parallel, it shares a climate that is similar to Burgundy, the great Pinot Noir producing region of the world. Grapes are hand-picked from their Parkburn Vineyard and Gibbston Valley Back Road Vineyard, each site contributing fruit characteristics that reflect their unique terroir. Their wines are then carefully crafted to fully express the complex subtleties available only in New Zealand’s one true continental climate.
Join us for our Tasting with our under the radar little gem from Central Otago.
Lamont is the brand of Craig and Angela Gasson, Craig a viticulturist who established 12.15 ha of vineyards with the McLachlan family in Bendigo, who planted in 1999 as one of the founders in the district. Working on-site and becoming intimate with the vines and land up to 2007, Craig and Angela took sabbatical overseas, gaining additional experience in the U.K. and the exciting Okanagan district of Canada, to return to Lamont to continue their work making the Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines even more expressive of their provenance. The Lamont wines are single-vineyard sourced, from a 4.5 ha block off Loop Road, organic since 2009 and now with BioGro certification. The site has the varieties matched specifically to particular soil profiles, and the viticulture is precision-managed to account for their requirements. Craig is personally responsible for the winemaking, and still involved in the viticulture.
Grant’s name is synonymous with Otago Pinot Noir. He has been crafting wines in the region since 1993 when there were only 20 hectares planted - today there are over 2,000. Grant’s accomplishments are well known in the wine world and he is credited with winning the Best Pinot Noir Trophy at a major International Wine Competition in London an unprecedented four times – a feat achieved by no other winemaker in the world.
Over the past 25 years he has made the first wines for a number of iconic Otago wineries, but now the serious focus is on his own creation, Valli.
Established in 1998 and named after his Great-Great Grandfather, Giuseppe Valli, who immigrated to New Zealand from and Italian winemaking background, Grant founded Valli with the aim of creating true representations of Otago’s subregions with unflinching intensity and purity. This was also a first for the region – no one had attempted to capture, let alone master the developing subregional plot that has now begun to unfold as the next exciting chapter in the Otago wine story.
Join us at Point Wines, Thursday 8th of June, for our highly anticipated annual Craggy Range Wine Tasting with Chief Winemaker Matt Stafford.
You will be tasting wines from their whole range including their flagship Prestige Collection featuring Sophia Bordeaux blend, Le Sol Syrah and Aroha Pinot Noir.
Next Tuesday at Point Wines, we welcome Josh Lynex from Garage Project for the launch of their new beer releases.
If you are a beer lover I am sure you have heard of them. New Zealand’s most innovative and fastest growing brewer in the country.
However just in case you need a little back ground info, here is something to bring you up to speed:
The Garage Project was founded by Pete Gillespie, Jos Ruffell, and Ian Gillespie.
When they started out they were tiny. Garage Project wasn’t even micro brewing… it was a true nano brewery.
After nine years of working in bigger breweries with equipment 100 times the size it was quite a change to downsize to a fifty litre brew kit. But what they lacked in size they more than made up for in agility and the ability to experiment.
When you’re brewing on such a small scale you can afford to take risks and this is exactly what they wanted to do, have fun and experiment new things.
It has been 5 years now and they are certainly bigger but the same drive and ethos continues at the heart and the beers, well they are something else.
We are obviously quite excited to have been chosen as one of the outlets to launch their new beers:
Here is the line-up:
*Rose de la Vallee
*Chateau Aro 2015 and 2016
*Rum & Raisin