Vintage Hell

We’re right on vintage, the rain’s persisting down, and it looks like the grapes are going to hell in a downpour. The pinot noir and the pinot gris should be coming off this week but the heavens have opened. I’ve been out leaf plucking the viognier to try to ward off the botrytis when the sun does come out, and I don’t  think my back will ever straighten up again. Yes, all you ever hear is wine wine wine.

So here’s something lovely instead. When we went up to Havelock North in January, the real reason, apart from some rest and recreation, was to buy our Christmas presents for each other. When I’d gone there in November for the Holly Hospice house and garden tour with Helen, Di, and Vicar May, we’d visited Birdwoods Sculpture Gallery, undoubtedly the highlight of the tour, where I spotted fantastic serpentine sculptures the owners had brought out with them from Zimbabwe when they emigrated. I also saw the most glorious New Zealand sculpture, soaring bird, made from aluminium ribbons, which I yearned for. I decided I’d come back with CCQC.

We’re so lucky we both agree on art and sculpture because I’d agonised over the soaring bird. I’d wanted to buy it for him for Christmas but really wondered if he’d like it. Then when he saw it, he loved it too, and now it’s swirling above the barrels in our winery, protecting the ferment.

And his present to me? A Zimbabwean serpentine sculpture in the centre of the grasses and lavender garden in front of the house, which looks fantastic, and for which we had to have a special frame made so it doesn’t blow over and break. It’s called spiral seed pod.

 If you’re in Hawke’s Bay, drive out Middle Road, Havelock North to Birdwoods Gallery. Bruce and Louise, the owners, are so welcoming and they run a fantastic business in this converted church they dragged here from Waipawa. They don’t just sell sculptures, but really nice crockery, bowls, jewellery, furniture – everything except junk.

Meanwhile, back to grizzling about the weather.

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