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.