We all have our mountains to climb—in life—some tougher than others. New Zealanders seem to be good at tackling the most difficult ones, like winegrower Duncan Forsyth at Mount Edward in Central Otago, assailing the treacherous slopes and objective dangers of being a vigneron, and having reached the elusive peaks of perfection with the perilous pinot noir grape. Read More >
17th January 2014
Two Paddocks vineyards have this week acquired their fourth vineyard, this one in Bannockburn. Sam Neill says “We’ve been quietly looking around for something good in this neck of the woods for quite a while now and we were very fortunate that the opportunity came up of buying a small vineyard that we’ve always admired – Desert Heart.” Read More >
Reflecting on my New Zealand visit earlier in February this year, primarily to attend the Pinot Noir New Zealand Celebration 2013 (www.pinotnz.co.nz) held in sunny Wellington, one of the highlight’s of my trip was visiting the Marlborough region. Read More >
For those of us that have known Phillip Jones throughout his winegrowing evolution–for some of us that spans over three decades–and those that have managed to grasp the idiosyncrasies and eccentricities of the man (and there are many) and his extraordinary wines, those that have persevered with his unrelenting obsession with the pinot noir grape (except for a cabernet aberration early in the piece), those that have endured countless Burgundy and Rhone dinners and tastings with him and the privilege of his enormous generosity and magnanimous sharing of bottles, those that have come to appreciate his affability, peculiarities, erraticism, his quip and vagary and all the oscillations and manifestations in between…over a lunch; a standing ovation and resounding applause, hip-hip-hurray!, hip-hip-hurray!, hip-hip-hurray! to Phillip Jones, Finalist in the Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year 2013. Read More >
Walter Bourke: September 15, 1945 – September 19, 2003
I first met Walter Bourke in 1986, at his legendary Melbourne restaurant, Maria & Walter’s. I had been invited to the ‘Table 8’, an underground group of the most serious wine palates in Australia, which convened regularly in the upstairs private dining room at Maria & Walter’s for extravagant banquets with vertical tastings of some of the most coveted wines in the world.
Continuing my account of Pinot Noir New Zealand Celebration 2013 held in Wellington in February and my travels around New Zealand’s vineyard regions. Admittedly I was on a patriotic high from this incredible four-day event but even more so, I felt a strong sense of absolution; that my visit to Bell Hill vineyard in Weka Pass, North Canterbury (South Island) was such an incredible experience it justified the whole trip. Read More >
Highlighting Felton Road as my Biodynamic Vigneron of the Lunar Year (Rabbit) encompasses acknowledging the hard toil of Felton Road viticulturist, Gareth King, and winemaker, Blair Walter; their implementation and day-to-day painstaking work in managing an organic vineyard and a property that fully embraces biodynamic principals is commendable with Felton Road the benchmark for New Zealand vignerons. Read More >
Regular readers will have noticed a lack of new material on the Wandering Palate website over the last month, a direct consequence of ‘gone fishing’ in New Zealand; actually angling for pinot noir more than fish. Read More >
Inspired by one of the ‘take home’ messages from the New Zealand Pinot Noir Celebration 2013, so eloquently articulated by Sam Neill, I have been doodling away on the “Bastards of Pinot Noir”.
It’s meant to be a song although reads more like a poem but I’m thinking if someone can come up with a musical score, along the lines of Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway to Heaven” or Johnny Lee Hooker Mr Lucky with some long guitar riffs, it might sound… well…more like a song.
What do think?