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 !