On May 2, 2009, we exhausted ourselves picking 700kg of Viognier grapes. We began at 8am and didn’t cease until darkness fell. We pressed them the next day at Stonecutter Vineyard (that was before we’d purchased our own press). When we made the wine, we shed more than a few tears, as this rebellious teenager of a grape varietal refused to behave herself.
Today brought rewards when Stephen Morris MW, to our joy and surprise, reviewed it on Kathryn Ryan’s Nine to Noon programme on National Radio. He chose it as one of the wines to accompany Martin Bosley’s salmon dish. This is what Stephen said of James Viognier 2009:
“This wine will be difficult to source but it is incredibly attractive and enticing. I was sitting there writing things down, having a sip, then writing something more, having another sip. All of it is enticing, the hints of apricots, soft apricots, apricot trees reminding me of a kid when Central Otago apricots came in those very thin crates, and it took me back to that scent, which is what wine does. It has a good, lush mouth-coating palate, a bit of muskiness but in a good way, weight and freshness, and if you can find it, expect to pay about $35.”
Of course, you can buy this wine at the Martinborough Wine Centre.
We are so very, very chuffed, because we made this wine here, on site, in our own winery. Speaking of which, we have been adding some aesthetic touches to our winery. We brought some lovely old brass and ceramic coat hooks over from our Pt Howard house, and I had the idea of fixing them to the end of a wine box (see on the right):
And you may have noticed a picture to the left of the wine-box coat rack? It’s a framed version of Omar Khayyam’s famous poem, which sort of sums up our happiness on hearing our Viognier being favourably reviewed. This framed version was done by Wellington painter Jutta Chisholm.
Here with a loaf of bread beneath the bough,
A flask of wine, a book of verse, and thou.
Beside me Singing in the Wilderness
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.