Villa Maria and George’s cellar


Glengarry’s Sunday ramblings of all things vinous, grain and glorious. Villa Maria and George’s cellar comes from The Sunday Sediment.

Sir George Fistonich
Sir George Fistonich

A true New Zealand original, Villa Maria Wine Estates, is over 55 years old, proudly displayed the Glengarry Wineletters from the early days, front and centre. You do have to appreciate what it has taken over the years to get this world-class, family-owned winery to its prestigious position, and you can put it down to the talent, attention to detail, and sheer determination of its founder Sir George Fistonich and his team.

Nick Picone
Nick Picone

Consisting of Villa Maria itself, plus the Vidal, Esk Valley and Te Awa Collection, we tip our hats to the wonderful consistency of quality that exists across VMs entire portfolio. Nick Picone is Villa Marias Group Chief Winemaker and has been with the company for 18 years and counting. A multiple winner of Winemaker of the Year titles and listed as one of the worlds young winemakers to watch, he is an asset to the New Zealand wine industry.

VM Library release Cab Sauv & Merlot/Cab Sauv

The nowadays iconic George Fistonich (that’s ‘Sir George’ to you mere mortals) decided a while ago to start selecting wines from exceptional parcels with a thought to aging them and releasing them in very limited quantities via the cellar door and through selected retailers (that would be us). The wines are at the ultra-premium level, and having been already aged by Villa Maria themselves, they are good to go, and very favourably priced for what’s in the bottle. Villa Maria, then, at its finest. Read more in the Glengarry Wineletter – #232 August 2017.

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Winemakers happy overall with Bay’s mixed grape harvest

By Roger Moroney | 

Rain is expected to mark a drop in overall volumes of grapes harvested this vintage.

The drought conditions of December through to mid-February had effectively “saved our bacon” in terms of how the grapes across Hawke’s Bay had weathered persistent and potentially damaging bouts of rain over the past six weeks.

However, there was likely to be a drop in overall volumes along with a drop in sugar levels and in individual cases a possible rise in the cost of harvesting, leading winemaker Rod McDonald said.

Bright, warm and dry days had seen the critical early development of grapes go extremely well, Mr McDonald said, adding that effectively created a good base for fruit protection when the rains did arrive.

“There was good early flavour development during the start of the season – they [grapes] may be down on sugars but the flavours are there.”

Location had been a factor in which vineyards saw reduced volumes, he said, although the overall drop was unlikely to be major.

Of the three vineyards which sourced Rod McDonald Wines one would be down on volumes as a result of the rain belts but the other two were actually slightly ahead of their initial estimates.

“It depends where you were to find the effects where rain hit.”

He said coastal areas like Te Awanga came through well.

“We’ve got some amazing chardonnay and perfect ripeness out of there.”

Rain often created extra costs due to stopping and starting of harvesting – “darting back and forth” – as well as the need for selected picking plans.

“But you’ve just got to suck it up.”

Mr McDonald said he was at a wine tasting in Auckland about a month ago and was asked what effect rain would have on the grape harvest and how damaging could it be.

He replied that despite Hawke’s Bay’s dry reputation everyone in the industry had a wet weather plan and were always prepared for such an eventuality.

“If you don’t then you’re dreaming.”

Part of his plan was to go with “discretion rather than valour” and carry out an earlier than usual harvest of some Syrah and Merlot so as not to put them through any more rain.

“You have to ask yourself ‘do I pull the pin now and bank it or push on through?”

But he still has some Syrah out, along with Cabernet “and they are in great shape”.

Having a damp end to the season was always a threat and simply “one of those things you have to deal with”.

Mission Estate winemaker Paul Mooney took the same stance.

“We have had a remarkable amount of rainfall over the past six or seven weeks and that is not ideal for grape growing but we have worked around it.”

Mr Mooney said there had been some grape loss.

“There have been one or two blocks we’ve had to leave.”

While volumes would be down it would not be major and he agreed with Mr MacDonald that the hot, dry start for the season had put things on the right path.

“It just hasn’t been ideal in the way it has finished,” he said.

He also agreed that while sugar levels were down flavours would still be very good.

Hawkes Bay Today

 

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Jacob’s Creek double barrel release – From the Editor – July 2015

jacobs-creek-boublebarrel-cabsauv

jacobs-creek-boublebarrel-shirazWinter is clearly upon us, some snow on the lawn when we woke yesterday morning. Why have we not organised a holiday in a warm climate, I ask? Can’t even resort to wine as Patricia and I are doing the Dry July thing, but we will be buying a “Pass” for the Dinner. Never mind, it will soon be spring.

From time to time members send me little items of interest, and where possible I am happy to include them. I would encourage members if they find items of wine interest to let me know. It is always helpful. The item below attracted Evelyn Dawson’s attention.

Bernard Hickin, chief winemaker for Jacob’s Creek, talks about the company’s newest double barrel release.

“Having worked with Jacob’s Creek since its official launch in 1976, chief winemaker Bernard Hickin knows a thing or two about good grapes. And this year, he is taking the Australian company to new heights with the release of a special new wine range into the Antipodean markets: Double Barrel, a collection of premium red wines finished in aged whisky barrels. “The double barrel technique … imparts additional layers of complexity, beautifully integrated tannins and an incredibly smooth mouthfeel,” says Hickin of the Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Barossa Shiraz 2012.”

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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Kusuda – A short documentary in the making

Kusuda is to be a short documentary about Tokyo-salaryman turned fastidious Martinborough-winemaker Hiro Kusuda as he navigates his way through the high stakes of vintage.

“Kusuda has been partially funded by the Loading Docs initiative, with support from the New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air. But in order to make the film, the film makers need to raise a minimum of an additional $2000 to cover our production costs.

Your support will allow us to hire equipment and cover crew travel costs to Martinborough. And if we’re able to raise more than $2000, we will be able to extend the amount of days we spend with Hiro.

Any help is greatly appreciated!”

              Henry Oliver and Amber Easby

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Moana Park – June 2014

moanapark1Date: Wednesday 11 June, 2014

Time: 7.45 for 8.00 pm start

Venue: Johnsonville Community Centre Hall, 30 Moorefield Rd, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037 – Directions

Cost: Members: $14, Guests: $18

Presenter: Dan Barker, Winemaker/Owner

Details: Moana Park produces three unique sets of wines – the Estate Series, Single Vineyard Reserve Series and the Harmony Series. All the tiers are clearly distinct from one another, and reflect the unique characters of the micro climates and vineyards they originate from. Each is aimed at a specific sector of the wine drinking market.

Wines on show included:

  • 2013 “Crush Pad” Riesling
  • 2012 Viognier
  • 2013 Chardonnay
  • 2013 Gimblett Syrah from their “Estate” series
  • 2012 “Reserve” Chardonnay
  • 2013 Gimblett Syrah
  • 2011 Botrytis Chardonnay

 

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Providing a balance to club events

The Cellar Club has been fortunate in recent years having wineries and wine merchants approach the club to present as you’ll see by the tastings we have secured over the next 12 months.

Currently we have an additional 12 or more requests we cannot schedule until after late 2015. Nevertheless the committee appreciates requests from members wishing a particular theme (ie. Quiz night), winery or merchant to present.

If you do have someone or something in mind please contact us so your committee can arrange something with you at a later date.

Summary over the last 5 years

The Cellar Club’s committee as part of their responsibility is to try and provide a balance of regions from where presenters and wineries come from each year. This sometimes leaves regions light in certain years.

Anne Megget has been researching which wine regions have presented to the club over the past 5 years. The following is a summary of those regions.

Summary over the last 5 years

Also you may like to look at our Past events for exactly who has presented and a list of wines.

 

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