Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Making The Cut

Seresin's Moana Methode Traditionelle has 'made the cut' in the December issue of New Zealand's premiere golfing magazine. Wine writer Michael Hooper says that "of the dry styles, Seresin Moana is unbeatable, gaining extra points for its environmentally sustainable and practically organic vineyard status."

Available at The French Café in Auckland or from our cellar door.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Into India

Writing for Ambrosia India, Australian Craig Wedge had some lovely things to say about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and "In the case of Seresin, the belief in the cause and affect of organic wine philosophy has lifted this producer to the top of the heap. The wines are nothing short of extraordinary".

In Mumbai, Seresin's Sauvignon Blanc is available exclusively at the JW Marriott.

Check Please

We enjoyed meeting and spending time with US wine writer/speaker/consultant Leslie Sbrocco at Pinot Noir 2007 in Wellington early this year. While the event was all about New Zealand Pinot Noir, we're glad she discovered other Seresin wines too. As part of her 'Check Please' series Leslie recommends guests at Marché Aux Fleurs enjoy our Sauvignon Blanc.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mu Shu Match

It's wonderful to see and hear about people around the world enjoying our wines. Over the weekend, we saw an article from the Miami Herald about wine matches for Asian food flavours where Kathryn Morgan, wine director at 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia, picked Seresin's 2005 Leah Pinot Noir as a match for hoisin-sauced dishes like Mu Shu Pork.

How's that for a statement about the connected, global village? A wine director from Virgina, USA recommending a New Zealand Pinot Noir as a match for Mu Shu Pork, published in the Miami Herald and seen in Renwick.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Art of Artichokes

We've had a very fruitful artichoke patch this season, so this afternoon we took some time to preserve some of the harvest which we haven't sold at the Farmers' Market.

As a group we peeled, cut and cooked hundreds of artichokes which we then bottled using our own olive oil and herbs from our organic gardens.

Sharing in the fun and a big help with knives were Diana, Kevin and Jason.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

For Lovers of (the) Style

Sydney's Daily Telegraph (5 December) had the following to say about the Seresin Estate 2007 Sauvignon Blanc: "Wine like this made Marlborough's reputation as the world leader for fruit-filled sauvignon blanc. And from the great 2007 vintage, this is a must-have for lovers of the style. Forget the rest, this is the best."

For more information about this wine, see our winemaker's video in a previous post.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dynamic Duo

Alan Parker and Michael Seresin.

The joint contribution of Alan Parker and Michael Seresin as a Director-Cinematographer team was recognised last week at PLUS CAMERIMAGE, the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography.

Held annually in Lodz, Poland, PLUS CAMERIMAGE is the most recognized festival dedicated to the art of cinematography and its creators - cinematographers.

The Duo Director-Cinematographer Award at PLUS CAMERIMAGE 2007 was presented to Alan Parker and Michael Seresin who worked together on such movies as Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, Fame, Birdy, Angel Heart, Come See the Paradise, Angela's Ashes and Life of David Gale.

Apart from these films, Michael Seresin was also the cinematographer for City Hall, Mercury Rising, Domestic Disturbance, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He also shot one segment of Paris, I Love You and his latest feature Step Up.

Just finishing up a new film project in London, Michael is due to arrive back in New Zealand next week. Before he heads out to Waterfall Bay in the Marlborough Sounds, where he will spend some time with his son Misha for Christmas, we will open a bottle of wine to toast his success.

Staff Thinning

In a big corporation, the phrase 'staff thinning' might refer to an exercise-diet programme or a restructuring/redundancy process. We're pleased that at Seresin it means something entirely different.

A little over 2 months ago, after a Wednesday morning staff meeting, we pruned the staff rows of Semillon beside our cellar door. Check out the previous post to see what the vines looked like at the end of September - very different to now, with flowering in full force.

Shoot-thinning, done by hand, is a process of removing some of the new shoots from a growing vine. There are a number of reasons we shoot-thin; for plant health, for fruit quality and to manage yields, and these reasons are heavily inter-related.

We remove shoots which are growing outside the zone we can manage (eg shoots growing horizontally outwards, or downwards) and we remove shoots which might be 'crowding' in a small space. By having a nicely balanced vine, with shoots growing with even spacing we're aiming to manage yields and provide a framework where grapes can ripen evenly. A well-spaced and well-ventilated canopy also allows air to circulate, reducing disease risk. This is especially important in our organic system, instead of using chemicals to prevent or treat disease.
Having a reasonably open canopy also allows the sun to reach the growing points of each shoot. This is important for next year's crop. Receptors in the plant recognise the sun and respond with a cellular commitment to produce a fruitful shoot next year. If it's too cold or if there is insufficient light, the vine's defense mechanism is to protect and preserve it's energy by growing leaf instead of bunches.
By removing shoots we are also removing potential bunches of grapes. Lower yields are desirable from a quality perspective and also for plant health. We aim for low yields to deliver the style of wine we are aiming for. We also consider what yields are appropriate for the vine and are careful not to put too much stress on a vine by asking it to carry more bunches than we think it can carry and ripen. Again, this is important to our organic practices as we don't artificially 'pump up' our vines with synthetic fertilisers and chemicals.
Our staff thinning activity this morning was fueled by Darren's very accomplished and tasty Sushi and chocolate-noodle treats. Come to think of it, that staff-thining exercise-diet programme might be useful .....


"Welcome" to Alexis and Wendy who joined the Seresin team this week. Alexis, on the left, joins us from Canada in a new role spanning the whole enterprise; part of the year in the vineyards and for the rest of the year in the winery, espeically over the busy vintage and winemaking period (March - July). Wendy, from the USA, joins us as Biodynamic Practicioner as part of Estate Manager Colin Ross's team. We're pleased to have them on board, bringing new experience, skills, energy, ideas and expertise to Seresin Estate.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wine Loft

Congratualtions to our friends David and Graham on the opening of the Wine Loft in Wellington last week. If you know Wine Loft in Auckland (Wine Bar of the Year 2007), there's a lot about the Wellington site that will seem familiar; the warm decor, comfy leather couches, wine-friendly food and, not least, huge wine list with many by-the-glass. Something Auckland patrons can be envious of, the Wellington site (73 The Terrace) also features a rooftop 'Champagne Garden' perfectly situated to benefit from Wellington's afternoon sun and tucked away from the wind Wellington is better known for.

After lengthy delays (see the plaque near the bar supplied by landlord Bob Jones and dedicated to the challenges of the building process), it's great to see Wine Loft Wellington open in time for long festive-season lunches, but we're sure it will be even better when it really gets going in 2008 and then beyond: an institution in the making.

Currently Stocking: Seresin 2005 Riesling (by the glass - you'll then want a bottle!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wine for Christmas

Lesley Reidy, owner of online wine retailer Wine Fairy has an article on New Zealand news site with helpful hints for those buying wine as a Christmas present.

If you want to follow all 3 pieces of Lesley's advice and buy a special gift of something different and in limited availability from a small, boutique producer as well as make a sustainable choice, we'd be happy to help. Email us or use our online order form or call us (+64 3 572 9408) for personal assistance with your order.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2006 Marama

Seresin Winemaker Clive Dougall introduces the 2006 Marama, a barrel fermented and barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc. This is the 10th vintage of this wine for Seresin and Seresin's very first certified organic wine.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sweet Memento

Charmian Smith had the following to say about the 2007 Seresin Memento Riesling in today's Otago Daily Times:
"Seresin Memento Marlborough Riesling 2007 (about $27) is medium-sweet, zesty and fragrant with floral overtones, suggestions of tropical and citrus fruit, rich and full in the mouth with a velvety texture and a crisp, limey finish. A smart wine that is delicious now but will develop."(4.5/5)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lovely Leah

The November-December issue of Ontario's Vines Magazine carries a review of Seresin's 2005 'Leah' Pinot Noir by John Szabo. Awarding the wine 4.5 stars, Szabo writes:

“Seresin Estate practices organic viticulture. This wine is a blend of Pinot from three single vineyards all located in the Marlborough district of New Zealand’s South Island. The nose explodes out of the gates with rich, ripe red berry fruit, fresh butter, plum and well integrated wood-aging notes of vanilla, smoke and sweet baking spice. The palate is generous and concentrated, with a creamy texture framed by firm acidity, gentle tannic grip and a long spicy red berry finish. A classic new world style Pinot that will dance with anything from a fillet of grilled wild-caught or organically farmed salmon to duck breast in a pomegranate reduction.”

Here is an introduction to the 2006 vintage of this wine from Seresin Estate Winemaker Clive Dougall.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

(Au)Thor's View

There are a number of wine blogs we like to browse regularly - oenoLog is definitely one of them.

It's worth a daily visit, even if only for a chuckle at the latest clever title for his posts (some of our favourites: Chiquet Magnet, It's a Cru, Cru Summer, Riesling Star, Angelo of Mercy, Too young or Thuaud?). More importantly, there's a lot of interest and value in the enormous range of wines covered.

Blog author Thor Iverson recently reviewed the 2005 Seresin Estate Sauvignon Blanc calling it "one of the most polished and professional Marlborough sauvignons on the market". He comments: "Bitter melon, lemongrass, intense lime and grapefruit, pomegranate, and acidity so vivid it’s palate-drying form the heart of this wine, but what’s striking is the confident, almost swaggering sophistication in the face of all that boisterous sauvignon-ness. Very, very good."

Oh, and 'Original Seresin' is a pretty catchy post title too - wish we'd thought of it first !

New Release Dinner

On Saturday evening, in perfect weather, 40 people gathered at Michael Seresin's private dining room at Waterfall Bay in the Marlborough Sounds to celebrate Seresin's new release wines.

A special 5 course dinner was prepared by Guest Chef Jason Dell, with each course designed to complement a selected new release Seresin wine. Seven wines featured during the evening:

  1. After boarding at Picton, guests enjoyed the 2007 Memento Riesling on board the launch Legacy for the quick trip across Queen Charlotte Sound to Waterfall Bay.

  2. On arrival at Waterfall Bay, a glass of 2007 Sauvignon Blanc complemented a range of canapés including a selection of featuring assorted California sushi roll; parmesan tacos with crayfish; and dukkah lamb croutons.

  3. The Glazed Duck with asian slaw and citrus miso went beautifully with 2007 Gewurztraminer.

  4. A sneak preview of the yet-to-be-released 2007 'Reserve' Sauvignon Blanc was matched with Risotto, fine herbs, goats cheese, asparagus and lemon oil (oil also from Seresin, of course).

  5. Wood-roasted Marlborough Sounds King Salmon, pearl couscous, chermoula, fennel, and grapefruit was a perfect match for 2006 Chardonnay Reserve.

  6. Juniper-crusted Elk venison, sweet potato, blackcurrants and a blackcurrant-pinot noir jus was served with another sneak-preview wine, the new 2006 Pinot Noir (to be released February 2008).

  7. Riesling poached pears, toasted macadamia and sticky toffee was accompanied by Seresin's 2004 Noble Riesling.
Jason is Executive Chef at Blanket Bay, which, earlier this year received accolades from Conde Nast Traveller magazine; awarded the ‘Best Hotel for Food in the Australasia and South Pacific Region’. Jason’s has just released a solo cookbook, ‘SAVVY’ featuring recipes for some of the dishes mentioned above.

If you want to know more about Waterfall Bay Dinners planned for 2008, please email Jan Whillans or phone +643 572 9408.

Photographs from Bill Floyd used with thanks.

Jason Dell serving dukkah lamb croutons to Seresin's Assistant Winemaker Carlos Ortega-Orgiles, pictured here with his parents Orgi and Maria-Louisa, visiting Marlborough for the first time from Spain.

Guests visiting from Christchurch for the New Release Dinner (from left) Dr Nigel and Wendy Gilchrist, Shelley and Brian McCauley. Service (with a smile) from Clare Burton and Kara Guilford.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2007 Vintage Overview

Seresin Estate Winemaker Clive Dougall gives an overview of the 2007 growing season and vintage.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sip of the Week

Along with slapping on 5 stars, Yvonne-Marie Lorkin had the following to say about Seresin's 2007 Memento Reisling in the Hawke's Bay's 48 Hours magazine (3 Nov).

"If this is what organics does to riesling, then bring it on! Lifted apple, apricot, honeysuckle, citrus and a hint of toffee too. On the palate it is lush, chompy and fresh, with mouthfilling, gum-tingling acidity. Love it!"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

2007 Sauvignon Blanc

As promised earlier, we've taken some footage of our winemaker Clive Dougall talking about our current release wines. Here is Clive introducing our 2007 Sauvignon Blanc.

Monday, November 5, 2007

From Crystal to Cow-Horn

We've been continuing with the creation of our Biodynamic Preparations this week. It's time for some 501. Preparation 501 works on strengthening the above-ground activity in plants. It helps with photosynthesis and strengthens a plant's structure and cells to resist infection. Made from finely ground, treated silica quartz, it fosters silica activity in plants and helps plants to resist fungal attack.
The image below illustrates the process we used to start the creation of our very first estate-made batch of Preparation 501. Starting from the bottom left with the first small bowl and working clockwise, you can see the silica quartz crystals we started with. These were roughly crushed (bowl 2) using a mortar and pestle-type arrangement until we had a course sand (bowl 3). This was ground by hand (see Colin Ross literally at the grindstone!) between two sheets of glass ( the bowls are sitting on one) until we had a fine, almost talcum powder-like powder (bowl 4). This was mixed with water to create a paste (bowl 5) which was spooned into hollow cow horns and allowed to set (middle bowl).

Once set, the cow horns containing the quartz 'plaster' were buried (on a descending moon) where they will remain for the summer. We'll see what it looks like in 6 month's time and let you know what we do with it then.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Preparation 502

In practising biodynamics, we use a range of 8 different preparations to help balance and enrich our soils, plants and composts.

Preparations 502 - 507 are used in combination to enhance the availability of soil minerals to plants and this week we continued to prepare some 502. Comprising yarrow flowers and a stag's bladder, 502 enhances the activities of sulphur, nitrogen, potassium and trace elements. Pictured here, dried after hanging in the open for about 2 weeks, the stag's bladder is stuffed with yarrow flowers and left to hang in a tree over the summer and then buried in a clay pipe over winter. The remaining material is then incorporated into our cow-pat-pits, composts and seaweed teas.

Why a stag's bladder? Practically, the dried stag's bladder makes an excellent container and is fully natural and biodegradable - an example of traditional, self-sufficient agriculture using the full resources of the farm. It is also interesting to see the structure of the yarrow flower strongly resembles a stag's antlers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How to Blog Taste and Smell?

When someone works out how to use the internet to convey tastes and smells and please let us know. We would love to be able to let you enjoy our wines over the web. Until technology catches up with us (I bet it will!), we're planing to video Clive Dougall, our wine maker, talking about our wines and we will post the videos here over the next few weeks - unless you sit there with a glass of wine at the same time, you'll just have to listen to him and let your imagination do the rest.

If we had this technology now, we could also use it to let you smell our tractor. We've converted it to run on biodiesel, produced from used cooking oil, and as it goes past it gives off pleasant restaurant-cooking smells. Imagine that.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wine Weekend

We were pleased to be part of the Marlborough Wine Weekend this past weekend. Along with 34 other Marlborough wineries, we poured a number of our wines for guests - consumers, wine writers and restaurateurs from around New Zealand. Seresin's 2005 Chardonnay Reserve, 2006 Marama, 2006 Pinot Gris, 2006 Leah Pinot Noir and 2007 Sauvignon Blanc all made appearances over the weekend. The Seresin 2005 Raupo Creek Single Vineyard Pinot Noir was selected as one of 3 Marlborough wines in an international tasting of Pinot Noir.

Tastings were held in each of Marlborough's distinct sub-regions illustrating the different characteristics typical of those areas - picturesque settings adding to the memorability of the ocassion and etching the differences in flavours firmly on the mind and palate.
Guests enjoyed fine food prepared by Marlborough's Chris Fortune and Martin Bosley from , Martin Bosley's Yacht Club in Wellington - New Zealand's Cuisine magazine's 2007 Restaurant of the Year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Whale Watching, Eye to Eye

When a southern right whale decided to spend some time visiting Wellington recently, Polly Greeks had a ring-side seat to enjoy the action; the whale spent 15 hours playing about in the water below her deck.

In Polly's words: "It was up there amongst the most brilliant things I've ever seen. [That's saying something from what we know about Polly's adventures all over the world]. It was 12-metres long and spent the entire day just lolling around off the rocks. Sometimes it lay on its back waving its giant flippers out of the water and other times it raised its whole upper body from the water, nearly causing car crashes all along the coast road. I could still hear it in the evening when it was too dark to see it any longer."

Polly's neighbour, cinematographer Simon Baumfield, took these photos after an up-close-and-personal encounter diving with the whale. "Simon said he was swimming with the whale for about half an hour, and really wanting to get a photo of its eye, when it tucked its giant fin in to the side of its body to allow him to get in close enough. It was also making very low, deep sounds which vibrated right through him, and he found himself spontaneously making the same sounds back".
Thanks Polly, for bringing some magic to our day, and to Simon for the beautiful images.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's not all black ...

The 'Drink Tank' team at our UK distributor Armit selected the 2006 'Leah' Pinot Noir as their wine of the week after it achieved first or second place from all of the seven judges in a blind tasting of six wines from France, Italy, Spain, USA and New Zealand.

Armit reported:
Whilst the All Blacks are heading home with tear-streaked cheeks and reputations in tatters, there is one New Zealander holding his head high this week. Michael Seresin, the founder, creator and dynamic force behind Seresin Estate can be rightly proud of his winning performance in the armit Drink Tank Taste-Off. The Webb Ellis Trophy will have to wait until 2011 but for those who wish to see New Zealand performing at its best, there can be no better way than cracking the cap on a bottle of Leah. Rich, generous and broad but with the definition and purity of great Pinot Noir for all to see, this is a brilliantly versatile, inspiring example of what can be produced in the land of the long white cloud.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

2007 Seresin 'Memento' Riesling

A well known UK wine writer who visited us recently, described the 2007 Seresin 'Memento' Riesling as "the perfect mid-morning wine". Judging by the reaction to the wine at today's Marlborough Farmers' Market, he may be onto something. It was a big hit with those tasting it at the market this morning in fine, warm weather.

As well as the buzz of spring weather and the opening day of the market, sales were also helped by Karl du Fresne's write up in this morning's 'Sunday' magazine. He described it as an "exquistely pure, fragrant and delicate Germanic-style example" of New Zealand Riesling.

If you can't wait for dinner to try it, enjoy it anytime from brunch onwards.

Friday, October 19, 2007

View from the top of NZ (House)

Seresin Estate is pleased to support the exhibition of works by Peter McIntyre OBE at Jonathan Grant Galleries in Parnell, opening on October 25th.

Peter McIntyre OBE is a New Zealand artist of distinction and renown. In the 30's he became known as one of New Zealand's most innovative artists and in 1941 was appointed New Zealand's official war artist serving directly under General Bernard Freyberg.

Having travelled extensively, the exhibition features many of McIntyre's favourite themes and locations - from rural New Zealand and abroad. Images of all the paintings can be seen on the gallery's website.

The image of McIntyre's work shown here, is Panorama of London with Trafalgar Square, St. Paul's and the Thames beyond from the rooftop of New Zealand House, 1963. (Hey, you can almost see Michael Seresin's house from here !)

The exhibition runs until November 12th.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lovely Vessels

When Michael Seresin saw work by ceramic artist Raewyn Atkinson at Wellington's Avid Gallery, he was so taken by it that he approached Raewyn to make him a special set of dinnerware for his home in the Marlborough Sounds.

We're grateful that Raewyn agreed. Not only do her plates and bowls now grace Michael's dining table at Waterfall Bay, they are for sale and we use them to showcase our Extra Virgin Olive oils at the Estate's cellar door. The vibrant green of the oil looks even more beautiful in the fine, translucent dishes.

And now, Raewyn's dinnerware, is available for sale at Vessel in Wellington.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Video Introduction

With the help of our friends at Wellington's Film School we prepared a short video introducing Seresin Estate, our wines and oils and some of our philosophies and practices.

We hope you find it of interest.

If there's anything else you'd like to see, let us know.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Inbox Sweetness

The Quakebake Newsletter is one of the highlights in my email inbox. Quakebake are a certified organic, artisan bakery in the Hawkes Bay who hand-make a range of sweet and savoury gluten free treats, German style Gingerbreads, and Italian style biscotti. Its newsletters promote a lot of things dear to my heart: obviously there's biscuits and slices but also matters including slow food, farmers' markets, romance (a free sweetheart cookie for your Valentine last year) and having a say on issues you care about.

In today's newsletter owner Robert Haas shared a recipe for Orange and Almond Biscotti which is reproduced below with permission (thanks Robert).

For someone selling biscotti, this was an interesting move, but Robert explained his reasoning like this: "Whilst I'm more than happy to sell Quakebake products to you, and actually rely on you to buy my products every now and then, I still think there is a certain emotional quality in home-made food, that even an artisan baker like me can't deliver on. That emotional quality is an intrinsic part of enjoying food and living a good and fulfilled life. It may look insignificantly small and negligible in our busy worlds of today, but it is there, and it can't be replaced by other means."
Good on you Robert ! We agree and hope many people enjoy making their own biscotti at home as well as enjoying other products from your range.

Make sure you have a look at Quakebake's website ( to sign up for the newsletter, to be tempted by Robert's range of organic biscuits and slices and for more mouth watering recipes.



  • 2 whole eggs
  • 250 g sugar
  • 80 g slivered almonds
  • zest of 1 orange (finely grated)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 250 g flour (preferably cake flour)


  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  • Cream the eggs with the sugar.
  • Add the grated orange zest, the almonds and the vanilla essence.
  • Sieve the flour with the baking powder and add to the mix.
  • Shape in two longish loaves directly on the baking paper of your baking tray (it will be reasonably sticky, use wet hands).
  • Put the tray into the oven, turn temperature down to 160 and bake for 35 min.
  • Pull the biscotti out of the oven, cool a little down and cut with a serrated knife (bread knife) into slices approximately 1 cm thick.
  • Spread out on the baking tray and bake another 15 min., for a more even baking result you can turn the biscotti after 8 min.
  • Once the biscotti have cooled down, store them in an airtight container.


  • Coat one end with chocolate, simply melt in a water bath or in the microwave 200 g dark chocolate (e.g. the Fairtrade dark chocolate from the TradeAid shops is very good).
  • Dip one end of the biscotti in, or the bottom of the biscotti, which ever you prefer.
  • Rest the coated biscotti on a wire rack until set, then store in an airtight container.
  • If the chocolate shows some white coating after a few days, don't worry this is called chocolate blume and is harmless. It doesn't look perfect this way, but is not affecting the flavour (it is caused by the cocoa butter which started to crystallise because the temperature of the melted chocolate wasn't perfect - you would need to do what is called tempering, but to do this efficiently you would need a marble slab in you kitchen!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Spring Rainbow

While the recent rains may have dampened spring spirits, there's nothing like the appearance of a rainbow to make one stop in wonder...

(No pots of gold found)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Interview with the Winemaker

While attending a trade tasting in Melbourne, our winemaker Clive Dougall gave an interview introducing Seresin Estate wines, our different vineyards and aspects of our viticultural and winemaking philosophy. The interview is available by podcast at the website.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dish and Wine Match to Dive For

It has been great to see Steve Logan and Al Brown back to their on-screen best in the new series of Hunger for the Wild. In an episode a couple of weeks ago, they dived for scallops in the Marlborough Sounds and prepared a mouth-watering dish: Seared Scallops with fresh corn and red capsicum salsa. Click here for the recipe.

The chefs' recommended wine match was the 2006 Seresin Estate Pinot Gris. If you would like to try the match for yourself and need to buy a bottle or two, email us. We can also assist with the Lemon Oil called for in the recipe, but you'll have to dive for your own scallops, sorry.
And don't forget to watch Hunger for the Wild, Saturdays, 7pm, TV One.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Staff Meetings, Seresin-style

On Wednesday mornings, the Seresin Estate staff catch up for some morning tea and an informal staff meeting. We all take turns to make morning tea and this morning Jo raised the standard with a bacon & egg pie (using Seresin Estate organic eggs of course!) and a date & caramel cake.

After catching up on various vineyard, winery and marketing activities, we tasted the 2006 Marama - a single-vineyard, barrel fermented and barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc. Not only is this the 10th vintage for this special wine, but it is also Seresin Estate's very first certified organic wine (released 1 October 2007).

To finish off, we went out to Misha block and pruned the 'staff row' of Semillon. If you visit us at the Home Vineyard and want to inspect our work, it's the row alongside the driveway by the cellar door.

Pictured hard at work are: Vicky and Darren, Scott and Jo.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Of Cow Horns and Vortexes

Today was the start of a descending moon and we took the opportunity to make and apply a few hundred litres of preparation 500 to the Home Vineyard.

As you'll see below, preparation 500 is a very 'earthy' substance and so the timing of application was great - coinciding with the start of a cycle when the earth 'takes an inwards breath' as the moon is in a descending phase and life-forces move downwards and inwards, into the earth.

Max Allen's website Red White & Green has a great explanation of Biodynamics (BD) and the composition and function of the various BD preparations. He describes preparation 500 as the "cornerstone of Biodynamics". To start, we used cow manure which had been buried inside a cow horn over winter and stirred this into barrels of rainwater which we warmed to body temperature. This was stirred for an hour - with office and vineyard staff all having a turn using the reverse vortex method. As Max Allen describes, this is "where the water is stirred in one direction until a vortex forms in the bucket - and then, when the vortex reaches the bottom, the stirring direction is reversed, creating chaos in the liquid. ... this works on many levels, depending on who you talk to: this is either a way of attracting cosmic influences into the liquid - or just a bloody good way of mixing stuff up."

Next, the liquid was 'flicked' out on the vineyard. Not to be confused with liquid fertiliser, this is more about "seeding the vineyards with little droplets of life" in Estate Manager Colin Ross's words, "like cultures used to

make yoghurt and yeasts fermenting grape juice". By stimulating soil bacteria and fungi, it improves soil structure and microbiological activity and helps nutrient exchange between vine roots and the soil.

This last picture shows Aman Chowfin making natural brushes
used to 'flick' the preparation out into the vineyard. >>

Thursday, September 13, 2007

After-Work Drinks

It wasn't your average after-work-drinks, and normally the staff at Seresin Estate aren't the types to be drinking out of brown paper bags either.

We lined up a dozen bottles of 2006 and new-release 2007 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in a blind tasting for all staff. It was a first for many, and a fascinating and valuable exercise. The results aren't for publication here (we were pleased, but that wasn't the point of the exercise), but we recommend you give it a go yourself sometime - it really makes you think about what you're tasting and the differences between wines. Like some of us, you might even find it helps you discover, describe and distinguish what it is you like or dislike in a wine - and knowing what you like is what it's all about, after all.

By the way, the picture is taken in our winery lab, which explains the racks and pipes you can see in the background. The lab is not used for technical-winemaking-trickery, but for analysis and monitoring. We test acid and sugar levels in grapes to help us make picking decisions for example. Also, given our natural and traditional winemaking techniques, with minimal intervention, it's important that we keep a close eye on our wines to ensure they are developing as they should. For example, as we ferment a lot of our wines naturally, using wild yeast, we need to understand which yeasts are at work, and how they are getting on, to make sure they do the job. It's about letting nature do most of the work, but keeping a close eye on things to make sure we get the best wine possible.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Auckland Wine Show

Seresin attended the recent Wine Show in Auckland - this is a trade only event held annually at the showgrounds. It is a great opportunity to meet a wide number of our customers and show them the first of our new wine releases.

Everyone who visited the Seresin table had the chance to win a Magnum of our 2005 'Leah' Pinot Noir - the lucky winner was Blair Fryer from Vivo Wine Bar in Wellington.
Congratulations Blair - your bottle is on it's way.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hungry and Wild

Our good friends Steve Logan and Al Brown from Logan Brown Restaurant and Bar in Wellington are gracing our TV screens again in a new series of their wonderful programme 'Hunger for the Wild".

The first programme of the series screened on Saturday. If you missed it, make sure you tune into TV One on Saturdays at 7pm from now on.

Steve and Al say they've had an exhilarating time over the last few months. "We’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing kiwi characters as we hunt, gather and eat our way around some spectacular corners of the country. We’ve had a heap of laughs, learnt a hell of a lot, and made some terrific friendships along the way."

During the series you’ll see wild hare in Marlborough back country, scallops in Queen Charlotte Sound, trout fishing on the beautiful Tauranga-Taupo River, cod and clams in and around Otago Harbour, paddle crabs up the Kapiti Coast, traditional eeling on the desolate Birdlings Flat on the Banks Peninsula, weka and groper on the remote Chatham Islands, wild ducks on a Hawkes Bay lake and wild deer in Central Otago.

Matched with great wines (Saturday's episode featured Vinoptima's luscious Gewurztraminer), this series is a must-see for lovers of beautiful food and wine and those interested in seeing more of our country, and meeting the passionate people behind the produce. Al and Steve make it as fun as it is mouth-watering.

Let us know if you want help getting a copy of the Season One DVD, or if you want to pre-order a DVD for Season Two.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Waterfall Bay February 2008

We are very excited to announce that Brad Farmerie will be our guest chef for the 2008 February Dining Series at Waterfall Bay. Brad is the chef behind the celebrated PUBLIC restaurant in New York and serves a style of cuisine described by Peter Gordon as “the magpie approach to food, a free spirited fusion of international flavours”.

Brad moved to the UK in 1996 to work under some of the most influential chefs shaping the culinary revolution taking place in Britain. He obtained the 'Grande Diplome' at Le Cordon Bleu and then worked at such acclaimed restaurants as Coast, Chez Nico and Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons. Most influential to his own style was his experience working with Peter Gordon at The Providores and Tapa Room. Brad has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa and Southeast Asia resulting in his creative, global style of cuisine that New York magazine has described as "free spirited fusion" and a menu that the New York Times raves "swings for the fences with each and every dish".

The dining series coincides with the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival. Dinners will be held on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th, Sunday 10th and Monday 11th February with lunches on Sunday 10th and Monday 11th.

Tickets are $265 per person (incl. GST) including return boat travel from Picton, and a five course wine and dinner match. For reservations contact Jan Whillans:, (03) 572 9408

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Phone 139M

In the 1950's and 60's, Waterfall Bay was run as a holiday campground by the Burdekin family and, before them, the Millsons.
The leaflet shown here was given to us by Olive Burdekin who believes it was produced in the mid 50's.
Not only what the leaflet says, but also how it is said, gives a lovely feeling for New Zealand in that era.
While a lot has changed since then, Waterfall Bay remains a magical and much treasured place. To paraphrase; we ourselves feel it deeply and like it well.
>> Click on the picture of the leaflet to get a bigger, readable image.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sue's Views

New Zealand wine writer Sue Courtney recently had some nice things to say about some of our newly released 2006 wines.

Seresin Marlborough Chardonnay 2006
"Light gold, clear and bright with fragrant, grilled peach aromas and a smooth creamy fruity palate full of juicy stone and tropical fruit with spiciness from the mealy yeast lees and an oaky finish with a touch of hokey pokey and caramel - this is a full-bodied, powerful wine with fruit evolving through peach to apricot with hints of pineapple and a reflux of passionfruit. It seems to get richer and more complex with every mouthful amassing increasing deliciousness and the toasty oak that seemed a little dominant on the first taste settles down to a supporting role in the background. When I found out this was from Seresin, I though it was the 'Reserve', but while it has some of the taste qualities of the 'Reserve', it's a little more affordable at its $28 recommended price. This tasty little chardonnay has 14% alcohol and really hits the spot with the cook. And its beaut with food too."

Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2006
"Deep cherry guava red, opaque only in the very core of the glass. Fragrant, smoky and savoury on the nose with a lovely floral depth and crisp, savoury and spicy to the taste with crushed velvet tannins, slightly tart red fruits like cherry and cranberry, dried herbs, smoky bacon, an earthy undercurrent and the musky florals detected on the nose adding a lovely touch to the lingering finish, which seems to go on and on. Medium to full-bodied in style with beautifully integrated French oak (just 15% new) playing a supporting role throughout, it's made from a myriad of pinot noir clones and seems to get more and more complex as the contents of the glass disappear. I remember the 2004 Leah was all chocolate and cherries. This is much more refined and complex but every bit as deliciously drinkable. The finished wine has 13% alcohol and costs $33 a bottle."

For more from Sue visit and to try the wines yourself visit our website.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

There's more to sangiovese than Chianti

As well as containing a nice description of our 2005 Seresin Estate Leah Pinot Noir, an article in Canada's Globe and Mail headed 'There's more to sangiovese than Chianti' tries to clear up some misunderstandings about Italian wine;

  • Chianti is a region (an area of Tuscany between Florence and Siena) not a grape
  • Sangiovese is the grape often associated with Chianti
  • In the township of Montepulciano, in southern Tuscany, there is a wonderful wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is made from sangiovese and not the grape called montepulciano.
Confused? Thankfully there's not a grape called chianti made under the brand name Sangiovese from the town of Montepulciano. And thankfully the review of the 2005 Seresin Estate Leah Pinot Noir is easier to understand: "There's good, classic pinot character in this premium bottling from a country making good strides with the grape. Medium-bodied and slightly jammy, it offers up flavours of raspberry, beetroot, spicy plum and toasty oak, and a tight grip on the earthy finish."

Biodynamic Wines

Australian wine writer Max Allen has put up a website dedicated to Biodynamic Wines which is a very informative and interesting resource. Check it out at:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Planting by the Moon

Part of Joseph's block on the Lower Terrace of the Home Vineyard was replanted with Sauvignon Blanc last year. However, there were some plants which didn't take, leaving gaps. This afternoon (a fruit day, at the start of a decending moon) was chosen as a great day to plant new seedlings in the gaps.

Almost the whole Seresin Estate team headed down to Joseph's block to plant some vines.

Some of the office staff had extra-special footwear just for the occasion.

Estate Manager, Colin Ross, gave us our marching orders and told us which way is up.

We talked about the moon's cycle and the 'earth's inwards breath' as the moon is in a descending phase - the perfect time for planting to help the seedlings take root.

We watched the master at work.

And got busy ourselves.

When the job was done, we enjoyed some lovely Laurent-Perrier champagne (thanks to our NZ distributor, Eurowine!).

And while Colin cooked us a BBQ (thanks Colin) with sausages made from our own rosemary and organic lamb (thanks lambies), we enjoyed some mulled wine (thanks Jan).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday's Sunrise

Heading west, all the stainless steel tanks along Rapaura Road glowed red. The best of the show was over by the time I arrived at the winery, but it was still spectacular.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Identified as Organified

We're not sure where he got the idea that we're "newly organified", but UK Telegraph writer Peter Grogan makes some insightful and interesting points in a recent article about organic wine.

Of our three vineyards, two (the Home Vineyard and Tatou) are certified organic, and have been since about 2000 and 2004 respectively. Our third property (Raupo Creek) is operated under organic principles, and in transition to full organic certification. All of our properties receive Biodynamic preparations and we're heading towards Biodynamic certification as well.

We agree that 'organic' and 'biodynamic' are not synonyms for quality and it's for this reason that we haven't made a big deal about our organic and biodynamic culture. Our first goal is to make great quality wine - the best wine we can possibly produce from what nature gives us in terms of our land and the season. In doing this, we practise organics and biodynamics because it's who we are, what we believe in and the way we believe we make the best quality wine.

While Grogan's article makes the point that some wineries are organic and biodynamic without going through certification, we believe certification is valuable for a number of reasons. Having someone else review our operations is a good discipline and helps bring in new ideas and stimulate fresh thinking. Certification is also being asked for by more consumers to provide assurances that a producer's claims can be backed up.

Our winery has recently been through its assessment for organic certification too, so, it won't be long before you see Seresin Estate wines on the market with a 'Certified Organic' logo on the back label .... watch this space.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday's Leeks

Check out the beautiful leeks that Lisa (Chickens, Olives, Gardens, Parks & Recycling Department) delivered the marketing team this morning, fresh from Seresin Estate's organic vegetable garden. (Where else can you work and have fresh organic vegetables delievered to your desk as part of the deal?)

The produce from Seresin Estate's organic vegetable garden is sold at our local Farmers' Market, enjoyed by the staff, used for meals with guests at the winery and for the special lunches and dinners we host at Waterfall Bay.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sheep and Chardonnay

Check out an article entitled Sheep and Chardonnay by Suzy Atkins, wine columnist for The Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine , who has been touring around New Zealand's wine growing regions. Tough job Suzy, but someone's got to do it, right?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fruit Day Wines

Today was an exciting day at Seresin Estate. Our winemaking team finalised three of our 2007 wines:

  • a very special 2007 Sauvignon Blanc we have created exclusively for ad-Bibendum, our distributor in Belgium and Holland, to celebrate their 10th anniversary
  • our 2007 Riesling - in our customary dry style
  • a 2007 Riesling in a new style for Seresin Estate - reflecting the background of our winemaker Clive Dougall who joined Seresin Estate for the 2006 vintage from Pegasus Bay.

Being a fruit day, it was a very good day to be tasting wines and we know the wines finalised yesterday will be special, building on the wonderful fruit from the low-yielding 2007 vintage.

"Fruit day?" I hear ytou ask ... it's a type of day characterised in the biodynamic calendar based on moon and planetary influences.

Check out the article in The Observer last year by UK wine writer Tim Atkin at the following link (,,1786074,00.html) for a fascintaing perspective on wines tasting different on different days depending on the phase of the moon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Seresin in Seoul

It is one our greatest pleasures to see our wines enjoyed around the world. The Korea Times recently ran an article where three of Seoul's top Sommelliers gave insider tips on what wines to enjoy over Summer.

With Ms Eom Kyung-ja of the Intercontinental Seoul recommending New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Seresin Estate in particular, we hope more people enjoy our wine in Korea this summer.

(Photo: Korea Times)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Designer Recycling

Our friends at Ocean Design have moved into new premises in Cuba Street in Wellington. It's a great space occupying 3 levels of an old building in lower Cuba Street - opposite the old MED Building and Columbia Hotel.

Check out this great chair by renowned architect Frank Gehry which I saw in Ocean's new reception area. It is made from laminated layers of corrugated cardboard. While it might sound and look light and flimsy, it is very sturdy and quite comfortable in a firm-yet-springy way.

Frank Gehry is perhaps best known for the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Back to the chair, though, what do you think? A beautiful way to reuse those empty wine boxes, we reckon.

A company called Vitra makes the chair as well as other great furniture deigned by a huge array of designers and architects.

Note: You may have noticed this post has very little to do with wine (without the tenuous reference to wine boxes, maybe nothing!). That's fine with us if it's fine with you. We hope you share our passion for beautiful things.

Capital's Capitol

Despite the bitterly cold Wellington weather today, MJ found a sunny corner to enjoy a wonderful meal and a nice bottle of wine. Capitol is on the corner of Marjoribanks St and Kent Terrace, next to the Embassy Theatre. As well great Italian inspired cuisine, you can enjoy Seresin wines - including some of what must be the among the last bottles of 2002 Seresin 'Muse' Pinot Noir on the planet (stunning!).

Capitol sits across Kent and Cambridge Terraces from the Downstage Theatre, which Michael Seresin's father, Harry, was instrumental in establishing. If your lunch lengthens to become dinner, you will see Wellington's nightlife cascading down Courtenay Place towards you.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Jimmy the Egg Man

If you're ever in Blenheim and see Jimmy striding purposefully carrying a basket of egg-shells, don't worry, it's not an anti-Easter-Bunny statement (Jimmy loves Easter and bunnies).
When he's visiting Marlborough's restaurants and cafes selling Seresin Estate wine, olive oil and preserves, Jimmy collects their egg-shells which we use in our biodynamic composts - along with egg-shells from our own organic, free-range hens.
We love that our customers play a part in making the wine and olive oil we supply them and that we're using their organic 'left-overs' to help grow our produce naturally and healthily.
Jimmy Rawdon (a face many will recognise from our cellar-door) is pictured in the kitchen at Le Cafe in Picton. Thanks also to Gusto in Picton and Giorgio's and Figaro's in Blenheim for their egg-shells and coffee grounds.
So next time you enjoy a good coffee or eggs at these establishments, you could well be contributing to our next vintage of wine or olive oil!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Misha's Post

4 July is also Misha's Birthday - Happy Birthday Misha.
Misha is Michael Seresin's youngest son. The block of vines nearest our cellar door and winery is named in his honour.
As well as being home to our roosters, Misha Block contains Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir vines.

Independence Day (for Roosters)

The 4th of July was celebrated at Seresin Estate by a ceremonial 'freeing of the roosters'.
This is not a traditional biodynamic farming practice, but was a good opportunity to give our roosters back their freedom.
You see, they were giving our free-range hens a (err) hard time, so we relocated them to the other end of the home vineyard, by our cellar door. After a week or so in a coop settling into their new location, we opened their door today.
As you can see, they are taking a while to venture out.
Q: Why do we have chickens?
A: For the eggs.
The egg-whites can be used for fining our wines (if needed) and the egg shells are an important addition into our biodynamic composts. Oh, and they make a pretty good omelette too !