Vintage Cats

Vintage hasn’t turned to vinegar after all. We picked around 35 tonnes of Pinot Noir (sold a bit more which we didn’t need) and between eight and nine tonnes of Pinot Gris. We still have the Syrah and Viognier to go; that will probably come off in the next two weeks, depending on the weather and how the bunches can hold.

It’s Anzac Day as I write this, coinciding with Easter. This morning we arose at 5am because we were helping Helen Campbell do the food and sustenance after the Dawn Service – sausage rolls, saveloys on toothpicks and, because it’s Easter, hot cross buns. Plus, of course, tea and coffee “with or without” a tot of rum.

There’s always a good turn-out in Martinborough, around 200 even though it was raining this morning. They assemble outside Pain & Kershaw, march to the Square for the service, then come over to the Town Hall for their cuppa. CCQC and Farmer He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named poured the rum.

On Friday we bottled our Viognier 2010, which is even better than the 2009 vintage – drier, but still with good fruit. More along the lines of Condrieu, which is what we’ve been aiming for. Simon Groves, who guides us with our winemaking here, and who’s an excellent winemaker in his own right, is happy with where that’s heading.

Simon and Amanda also run the Martinborough Wine Centre, where our James wines this April have been the wine of the month. Two Saturdays ago, and this Saturday, we spent the days there doing wine tastings. The wines were well received, in particular the Syrah and Viognier, and once people tasted they bought. The first Saturday we did it we sold 48 bottles in two hours. This Saturday, being Easter, there were more tire-kickers, so we sold fewer – 37 bottles. But no matter, at least all those tasters have now heard of, and are familiar with James wine. The photos didn’t turn out too well – I should have used a flash.

And then of course, there’s our hard-working cellar cat, ever present, guarding the door.


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