Friday, December 11, 2009

2008 Seresin Raupo Pinot Gris

We have just released 394 bottles of a new Pinot Gris, named after our Raupo Creek Vineyard in the Omaka Valley.

Through regular tasting of our 2008 Pinot Gris fermentations, we identified three barrels, which we thought had the potential to develop into something special. These wines were left to mature for a further 9 months in barrel. After a total of 15 months in aged oak the resulting wines all presented different complexities, but were all off-dry, rich and heavily textured showing the qualities of traditional Alsatian Pinot Gris.

We recently sent a bottle to wine writer and MW Jane Skilton who said " I could almost convince myself this wine was from Alsace because it combined the richness of fruit with really great texture and interest on the palate. There is a degree of complexity that raises it above most other NZ Pinot Gris. Indeed I am struggling to think of a comparable example . . . ."

For her full review please check out the link and if you'd like to try a bottle visit our website.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Frances restaurant

We love good news (Who doesn't though, I suppose). And we especially love good news when it involves a friend of ours!
Melissa Perello (see left) is a chef who has received much acclaim for her time as Head Chef at Charles Nob Hill, and Executive Chef at Fifth Floor - both fine-dining restaurants in San Francisco. She lead the team at Fifth Floor to receive a Michelin Star in 2006.
In 2007 Melissa was Guest Chef at our Waterfall Bay restaurant, and she certainly left a lasting impression with her culinary masterpeices. MJ (our General Manager) often talks about one of her dishes - crayfish served with a strawberry consomme - and says it is among the most memorable dishes of his life.

Since then, she has been working towards opening her own restaurant, and this week doors opened! We are really pleased to introduce you to Frances, San Franciscos newest restaurant. The seasonal menu is inspired by local produce from artisinal farms, and dishes out modern Californian cuisine in a relaxed neighbourhood setting. If it is anything like the dining experiences she has created before, we are sure it will be extraordinary.
Our congratulations and best wishes go out to Melissa, and we can't wait to check it out!

Roast Turkey and Seresin Pinot Gris

Huber’s butchery in Singapore is stocking the Seresin Pinot Gris for the holiday season, which according to wine writer Curtis Marsh, is the perfect accompaniment to Christmas turkey.

For more on Curtis's thoughts on wine and food matching and a recipe for for Christmas Roast Turkey visit the Huber's website.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Team Attends Organic Pastoral Field Day

In November several members of the vineyard team attended a Biodynamic field day at Milmore Downs in North Canterbury to learn more about mixed cropping and stock management. They produce BD meat and grains, which they sell as whole grain, kibbled, flakes or flour. The flour makes great bread! The day was really useful, especially the discussion about crop and stock rotation to rejuvenate the soils and to manage parasites. It was great to see how Biodynamic practices had enhanced the property, and that these ideas were being well received by conventional farmers in the area. By Rob Thomson

Seresin is buzzing!

We have recently gained two hives of bees that are enjoying their new base in the orchard. It is fascinating watching them work in the hives, fetch nectar or pollen and fight off the bumblebees after their honey. In addition to the valuable eco-service they provide by pollinating our fruit and vegetables, bees play an important role in Biodynamics. As well as extolling the incredible health benefits of honey, Steiner described how bees were closely linked with the sun and light; bringing energy and life to the land. By Rob Thomson

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Celebrating Seresin and NZ Wine

It seems fitting to celebrate the first day of summer (even if we are welcoming it in with plenty of rain!) by reflecting on all the good things we have going for us here in Marlborough. It seems there has been a fair bit of doom and gloom floating around the world of late, and it's a breath of fresh air to have such a positive light shed on things... We recently hosted Curtis Marsh here at Seresin - the New Zealand born Singapore-based writer has over 30 years experience in all things food, wine and travel - and he has written a few glowing words about the NZ wine industry and his visit to Seresin. To see his Wandering Palate blog post, click here.

Thanks Curtis, for making us smile so much on the first day of summer!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Seresin Dinner Party

Our Swedish Cellarhand, Lars Gabrielsson, came to us from a career as a Sommelier in some of Stockholm's top restaurants. He is also very talented in the kitchen and we often seek his opinion when it comes to matching food and wine. He pictured below sorting Pinot Noir with Ellie, one of our Vintage interns.

Below is one his Spring recipes complete with wine match - perfect for your next dinner party.

Rack of Lamb With fresh herbs and Seresin Lemon Olive Oil

1 whole Rack of Lamb
3 Cloves of Fresh Garlic
½ -1 Teaspoon of good quality salt
A good amount of your favorite garden herbs
1 Tablespoon of Seresin Lemon Olive Oil

Sear off the Rack of Lamb on your Barbecue or in a hot pan just for a few seconds on each side until brown.

Put the Garlic, fresh herbs, salt and Lemon Olive Oil in a Pestle and Mortar and work it in to a paste and taste off with pepper.

Rub the paste into the Rack of Lamb and cook in the oven at 220 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or on the Barbecue until pink in the middle. Let the meat rest for a few minutes before cutting the rack into individual cutlets. Serve with a new potato salad and a bottle of 2008 Seresin Leah Pinot Noir.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Marama a 'Sauvignon Blanc like No Other'

Over the Marlborough Anniversary weekend, we celebrated in style with the Marlborough Wine Weekend. Visitors from around the world attended the event, which showcased the best the region has to offer. As well as a Gourmet Dinner, Garden Party, and a Sparkling Cruise through the Marlborough Sounds, guests had the opportunity to learn more about, and taste a number of the varieties produced in Marlborough. While we tasted through the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir flights here in Marlborough, TasteLive (a US-based company which organises online tastings in conjunction with real-time tastings) had arranged some wine media to taste the same wines live on twitter. One of these tasters was Grace Hoffman - aka CellarMistress. Grace, a self-professed 'walking encyclopaedia of wine', was rather smitten with the 2007 Seresin Marama - one of only four Marlborough examples appearing in a line-up of international Sauvignons. To see what she has to say about the Marama, and the other Sauvignons tasted, take a look at her blog...

...and if you'd like more information on the Marama, the tasting notes are available on our website.

Seresin - Organic Producer of the Year

Colin Ross attended the Organics Aotearoa New Zealand conference in Hamilton last week and was on hand to accept, on behalf of Seresin, the award for Organic Producer of the Year.

The annual OANZ awards recognise people and organisations leading the way in organics.

The award was presented by Dr Manfred Botsch, Switzerland's Minister of Agriculture, pictured here with Colin.

Colin says the award recognises Seresin's commitment to organic farming.
"We do our best to encourage others to consider organic farming by hosting workshops and field days. We try to be ambassadors for the region and organics through exporting our products and hosting international staff and visitors."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sauvignons stand the test of time

A common topic of discussion around Malborough, famed for its Sauvignon Blanc, is about the ageability of the beloved variety. Jamie Goode tasted a couple of older vintages of Seresin Sauvignon Blanc, and the verdict was great! Seven years old, the 'very stylish' 2002 Sauvignon earnt 91/100. To see the rest of the blog, click here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Man's Vinious Musings

Aussie wine blogger Andrew Graham had a good look through all the wines shown at a recent NZ Winegrowers tasting of newly released New Zealand wines. He made special mention of the 2007 Seresin wines - 'extraordinarily good' he reckons! Check out his blog for more...

Friday, October 23, 2009

The joys of Spring

The weather is noticeably warmer and its finally starting to feel like spring time so we thought we'd celebrate in style with a long lunch at our Waterfall Bay Restaurant.

Seresin’s favourite Cook, Marcia Chang-Hong, will prepare a four course menu of new season local produce; Asparagus, Marlborough Sounds Scallops, Spring Lamb and Strawberries.

Marcia first cooked for Michael Seresin, while working as Chef at iconic London restaurant Kensington Place, and we have been enjoying her food since she moved to Marlborough six years ago. Seresin staff will serve lunch and matching new-release wines in the relaxed setting of the small dining room on the water’s edge.

Lunch: Sunday November 15th
Tickets: Lunch with matching wines $120 per person, water taxi $40 return from Picton.
Boat departs Picton at 11.30am, limited to 40 people.
Reservations: Contact Moir Laird: or Ph +64 (0)3 572 9408

And just in time for the long weekend a spring recipe from Marcia using freshly picked artichokes from our garden and Seresin Lemon Olive oil.

Artichoke and Goat's cheese dip
6 artichokes
2-3 tbsp lemon oil
4-5 tbsp goat's cheese. You can use either a hard cheese, grated or a softer creamy one.
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon

Bring artichokes to boil in a large pot of salted water. Simmer gently till artichokes are just cooked. Test by gently pulling at an outer leaf, it should just slip off with the slightest tug.

Drain and cool the artichokes. Peel off the tough outer layers till you get to the heart and use a teaspoon to scoop out the hairy centre. Puree the hearts with coarse sea salt, pepper, cheese, lemon juice and lemon olive oil. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve with crusty bread or as a spread on sandwiches. Will keep up to a week refrigerated.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A new staff member

We would like to welcome Moir Laird to the Seresin team. Moir joins us as the new Marketing Assistant. With a degree in Commerce and Marketing Moir has already experienced several sides of the wine industry – including wine sales, cellar door, trade shows and getting her hands dirty over vintage.

She says "my love of great wine, good food, and looking after the world we live in brought me to Seresin. My first day here, I was initiated with a mass application of one of our biodynamic preparations to the vineyard – the whole team applying 500 by hand across the Estate. A perfect way to start what I’m sure will be an interesting and fulfilling role!"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Logan Brown 350 Lunch

We're proud to be supporting the Logan Brown 350 lunch. The Wellington Restaurant has teamed up with climate action group 350 and Greenpeace to offer a three-course lunch for the princely sum of 350 cents ($3.50). The lunch is designed to raise awareness around the issue of climate change and to highlight the International Day of Climate Action festival on 24 October.

Steve Logan was inspired to do something after watching a film produced by a New Zealand documentary maker, Lizzie Gillet. The Age of Stupid looks at climate change from the perspective of future generations looking back at 2008 asking: why didn’t we stop climate change while we had the chance?

Thousands of people registered online to go in the drawn to attend the 350 Lunch, which is being held this Wednesday (October 21). Eighty have been selected to enjoy the bistro menu, which will be matched with a glass of Seresin 2007 Rachel Pinot Noir.

Why 350? This refers to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (in parts per million), which scientist have deemed the maximum safe level to prevent catastrophic climate change. Their goal, this year, is to get the Government to agree a 40 per cent emission reduction by 2020 at the UN climate summit at Copenhagen in December. Greenpeace have a similar mission - a 40% reduction by 2020 is what scientists recommend is necessary to meet the 350 target.

Logan Brown are also offering a special screening of the film that inspired it all. Paramount Cinema will show The Age of Stupid at the Paramount Cinema on 27th October at 6.30pm. Tickets are $3.50! To buy a ticket click here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Creative Cultivation

Our newest addition to the family… 2 little (mostly) wild pigs. These girls have been ‘hard’ at work cultivating a plot of land that we will use for planting veggies. They do an excellent job turning the soil as they root around for insects and roots.

Hands-On the Land

This spring, to nourish the land with both physical matter and our energy, we went for a real hands-on approach in applying Preparation 500 to our land. While we always hand-stir a portion of our Preparation 500, and always apply it by hand to a few select areas, because of the size of our Estate, most of it is generally stirred and applied with machines. Stirring and applying the Preparation 500 by hand is said to allow your energy to enter the Preparation 500 and bring a sense of aliveness to the property. We thought we’d give our land a little extra love by trying to stir and apply as much of our Preparation 500 by hand as we could. We put in an excellent effort! We hand-stirred a total of 32 barrels, with 4800 litres, over a 4-day period and hand-applied Preparation 500 to as much of our Estate as was physically practical. As part of this, we were able to cover our entire home block by hand, grapes, olives, orchards, gardens, animals and all! Staff, family, friends and colleagues joined us to form a band of over 35 merry stirrers and flickers. The joy and positive energy that spread over the Estate was palpable as we twirled and skipped, flicking our 500 on the land that provides for us in so many ways.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Seresin Estate's own Food & Wine Festival

We are looking forward to February and to welcoming guests to our occasional restaurant at Waterfall Bay. Chef for our 2010 February dinners is Hamish Brown from ROKA restaurant in London.

Chef Hamish Brown spent his formative years growing up amongst Canterbury’s farming community. Inspired by his father, a successful chef with restaurants in New Zealand and Australia, Hamish developed a sense for the quality of local ingredients and a passion for combining the Asian cuisines which make up the Western Pacific Rim.

After a successful early career in New Zealand, Hamish worked his way up to the position of Executive Chef at Christchurch’s George Hotel. Eager to broaden his culinary base Hamish left New Zealand for England. His first employer was expatriate Peter Gordon at his London restaurant Providores. After 18 months working with Peter Gordon, in 2006 Hamish left for ROKA and a position as Head Chef. Part of the worldwide Zuma-ROKA restaurant group, ROKA is renowned for its contemporary Japanese-inspired food.
Michael Seresin says “all the wine lists at Zuma-ROKA restaurants worldwide feature Seresin wines, and it was a natural progression to build on that relationship and welcome Hamish to Waterfall Bay. His imaginative cooking combines the best ingredients for texture and clean flavours, a perfect match for Seresin wines.”

Monday, October 5, 2009

Down the Rabbit Hole

The Wellington City Gallery re-opened last week after some major renovations and we were there for the opening celebrations.

As the official wine supplier of the Wellington City Gallery, Seresin wines were served alongside the opening night menu created by the team at Nikau Cafe.

In fitting style the gallery re-opened with the eagerly awaited Yayoi Kusama exhibition. ‘Mirrored Years’ features much of Kusama’s earlier seminal work, alongside some new creations.

The Japanese artist describes herself as the “modern Alice in Wonderland”, and certainly creates art unlike any other. A prominent figure in the art world of the 1960s, Kusama’s work is described as idiosyncratic and consistently original. She is considered one of the most acclaimed and respected contemporary artists working today.

For more information on the exhibition, check out the City Gallery Website.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Spring is in the Air

The Spring Equinox marks the beginning of a New Year for us. The Earth is warming, the Sun begins to stay with us longer and life unfolds before our eyes. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, our families gathered to welcome in the New Year together. We strolled through the vineyard collecting dandelions to thread into a garland and then blew and decorated eggs and made omelettes. And in true spring fashion, two little chicks hatched that day!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reaching Noirvana

According to wine writer Yvonne Lorkin, Pinot Noir is a bit like Marmite because it polarises people; you either love it or you hate it. Good thing she seemed to like our new release 2007 Pinot Noir....check out her latest blog article.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jancis Robinson's top NZ Wineries

We enjoyed a visit from top UK wine writer Jancis Robinson back in February, during a whirl-wind tour she made of New Zealand.

She has just published a list of her top four New Zealand wineries, including Seresin Estate.

Here is what she had to say about Seresin and some of the wines she tasted:

"SERESIN Film director Michael Seresin's estate, a pioneer of biodynamic viticulture in Marlborough with buried composts and cow horns and all sorts of not-obviously-Kiwi accoutrements. The bright young winemaker Clive Dougall arrived in 2006 and used to work for London brewers and wine retailers Fullers. I asked him if he ever deacidified (a common necessity in these parts) and he claimed he didn't even know how to.

Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Marlborough 17, Drink 2009-11
Slightly gassy. 40% wild yeast (not 100% out of fear because Sauvignon Blanc is so commercially important). 5% barrel-fermented Semillon. 10% of the SB is also old-barrel fermented. Honeyed nose with definite wild yeast nose. More mouthfeel than most NZ SBs - with real richness. Long and very different from the regular Marlborough SB. Real mouthfeel and substance. 13.5%

Seresin, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Marlborough 17.5
[This wine was tasted in Sep 09 London.] Very restrained crop (three tonnes/ha) from the 17-year-old vines on the Home vineyard. Lifted, lively nose - rather flirtatious - more so than the first vintage, the 2007. Complete. Lifted nose. Lightly smoky with just a hint of oily pungency. Very racy and impressively long. Perhaps not as concentrated as the 2007 Reserve - and it could be more useful for it.

Seresin Pinot Gris 2008 Marlborough 16.5 Drink 2009-10
Very heady and focussed nose. Lovely clean bright fruit and not alcoholic. Quite full and finishes dry. Transferred to old barriques after stainless steel fermentation. 6% RS. Not amazingly complex but lovely texture. Quite long. Bravo! 14.5%

Seresin, Chiarascuro 2007 Marlborough 17 Drink 2009-10
Very unusual wine for Marlborough - a blend inspired by Jermann's Vintage Tunina of Friuli! Pale pear juice on the nose and quite round and appley....Interesting! Full and zippy.

Seresin, Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007 Marlborough 17 Drink 2010-14
17-year-old vines. Crimson, very luscious and fully ripe. All 115 clones. What's not to like? Loose and yet satisfying. Dry finish. Appetising. Fruit in the middle.

Seresin, Rachel Pinot Noir 2007 Marlborough 17 Drink 2010-14
From a special parcel in Raupo. Very luscious almost black cherry aroma and much finer and more refreshing than the Tatou - more succulent.

Seresin, Sun and Moon Pinot Noir 2007 Marlborough 17 Drink 2010-15
80/20 Raupo/Home. This is meant to be special. Finishes dry and lively. Good tension. Palate filling. Long. Quite fine and very savoury. Drive! "

Dandelion Days

Spring is upon us and the glowing yellow of the dandelions grace our land. A few rainy days followed by nicely warming temperatures has seen them burst forth in full force. On a sunny ‘flower’ day, we got a band of merry pickers together to gather dandelions, opened to just the right stage, for our Preparation 506. Aman, Lisa, me, Sean and Mauricio are pictured here with our sunny bounty. The flowers will be dried and stored until next autumn to be used in our preparation making.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcome Charlie!

Lambing is upon us and with it has come little Charlie. Unfortunately we had to take him from his mum but we’ve found another one for him. Amanda, our Cellar Door manager, is raising him with lots of love, even getting up in the middle of the night to feed him! Once Charlie is old enough, he will stay at our Home Vineyard with Rudy and Rosa, eating grass to his hearts content. But for now, Charlie comes to work every day with Amanda so if you’d like to meet him just pop into our tasting room!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Michael Seresin - Profile

Writing for the UK's Design Week, Mike Dempsey has compiled a very interesting article summarising Michael Seresin's film career. Check it out on Mike Dempsey's own blog.

When we spend time with Michael, we're normally talking wine, olive oil, food, the environment, goats, vegetable gardens, books, fish, ...all-sorts ... but very rarely the other, professional side of his life, so we were all interested to learn more about what he has done - including a charming commercial for Stella Artois, which was news to us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Serious Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

UK wine writer Jamie Goode wrote an article which asked the question - can Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ever be serious?

In response we sent him a bottle of our new release 2008 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc and this is what he had to say.

"Amazingly full, aromatic nose with notes of grapefruit, passionfruit, herb and pear. Lots of richness, with a hint of greenness. The palate is complex and concentrated with sweet bold fruit and a subtle herbiness, as well as a nice minerality. Texturally rich but still fresh. Brilliantly poised. 92/100"

For the full posting check out Jamie's blog.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Sheepy Day

Today we are wishing our pet sheep, Rudy, “Happy First Birthday!!”. (Pictured here, getting a cuddle from Erin and Sean)

And coincidentally, our first lambs of this season were also born today!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another use for Pinot

A Marlborough beauty therapy clinic has developed a unique way to recycle the grape skins from our winery.

Pampers Escape use the Seresin Pinot Noir grape marc in a special treatment called the Caramalized Pinot and Lavender Bath.

Linda Davies processes the grape marc with her locally grown organic lavender. The grape marc helps to detox the body and the lavender calms and heals. We're yet to try it for ourselves but it sounds fabulous!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wine for the Weekend - Seresin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

The folks at Esquire magazine are enjoying our 2008 Sauvignon Blanc as much as we are. They say: "Now well-established as a quality operation which plays up its organically grown grapes and pursuit of wine-making the old-fashioned way, the results can be seen in this 2008 vintage of their flagship Sauvignon Blanc - crisp and creamy with a subtle nutty note from the oak barrels, and a strong citrus finish combine to elevate it above the rest of the sauvignon Marlborough pack."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pinot Gris

Writing in MindFOOD, we enjoyed Joelle Thomson's tip of the hat to the 'Southern Man' ad campaign, when describing the 2008 Seresin Pinot Gris:

‘It's a hard road finding the perfect pinot gris and here is one of the very few that stands out from the crowd in style, body, taste and sheer drinkability. This is a stunner from cinematographer Michael Seresin's Marlborough vineyard, which is steadily being converted to biodynamic. It's worth every cent. Ignore the others.’

If you don't want to take Joelle's advice to 'ignore the others', some recommendations from Seresin winemaker, Clive Dougall, include Pinot Gris from Escarpment in Martinborough (for a big wine) and Aurum and Lamont from Central Otago as nice examples in a more delicate way.

Please email us if you want advance notice of a special Pinot Gris we made in 2008 - less than 300 bottles made, to be released in October 2008.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Wines (in Winter)

While Johnny Ray is recommending the 2008 Seresin Gewurztraminer as one of his top 50 wines for the English summer, the same wine is also receiving compliments in the middle of New Zealand's winter.

Writing in Hawke's Bay Today, Yvonne Lorkin describes the wine as "Ginger, pot pourri, citrus blossom, jasmine, concentrated and semi-emotional I think. Just a sensational wine from winemaker Clive Dougall and the team of organic champions at Seresin. It’s perfectly balanced, beautifully put together."

Whether its summer or winter we hope you enjoy this wine - even if you don't see the English summer and New Zealand winter being all that different anyway ...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Wines

While it's far from summer here in Marlborough (minus 4 overnight, frosts and cool clear days), our friends in the Northern Hemisphere are thinking about which wines to enjoy in their warmer days and evenings.

Writing for The Telegraph in England, Johnny Ray recommends 50 summer wines. The 2008 Seresin Gewurztraminer makes the list as "a worthy rival of anything Alsace has to offer." Johnny recommends the wine is enjoyed "well-chilled as a stylish aperitif or partner to Thai food."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Goode Look at Biodynamic Winegrowing

The Wine Anorak website by Jamie Goode has a wealth of information for wine lovers, and if you're looking specifically for information and perspectives on biodynamic winegrowing, make sure you check out his fascinating series of articles.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Moos Flash!

Our family just got bigger with the “adoption” of a 7 year old Jersey named Olga. She’s a lovely girl, very friendly and has an amazingly soft coat, reminiscent of a teddy bear! Lucky for us she was a “show” calf so she knows how to walk on a lead and is very relaxed around people. She’s due to calve in October and will become our next milking cow.

One Hail of a Day

Still sunny in Marlborough, but the cold spells have been leaving us with some deep down chills out in the vineyard. We were pelted with pea-sized hail in the middle of the day...! Thankfully we are about to turn the corner on winter with the upcoming Winter Solstice this Sunday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

'If only all pinot gris was this interesting'

Our Pinot Gris received a couple of nice reviews from 'across the ditch' over the weekend.

Huon Hooke selected the wine as his Best Import in the Sydney Morning Herald.

If only all pinot gris was this interesting. But it’s not everyone’s cuppa. Very rich and multi-dimensional, it’s opulent, powerful and loaded with flavour. Barrel-fermented, high alcohol (14.5%) and heavily worked.' 95/100

Writing in Sunday Life, Sally Gudgeon had this to say.

‘A rich Marlborough gris with striking fruit purity and length. The vineyard is biodynamic and six months in old oak adds impressive texture. Serve it with Thai Fish cakes.’

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Organic Wine Future

We're excited to be part of the first Organic Winegrowers New Zealand, Organic Symposium. The Symposium will be held here in Marlborough on July 9 and 10 and feature some of New Zealand's leading experts in organic viticulture and marketing. For a program please email us.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Seresin Lemon Oil

After the hard work of the grape harvest ends, our vineyard and winery teams quickly move into the olive harvest.

This year, the weather wasn't as kind to our olives as it was to our grapes. The coldest May in 77 years, including 20 days of frost, reduced our olive harvest volumes drastically and we spent extra time with very selective picking to ensure the best quality of fruit possible. We also timed our harvesting to work in with our bookings at Marlborough's olive press - which we own collectively with other olive growers. This meant our olives were pressed as soon as possible after picking - often within a few hours - which is very important for quality.

Our Olio Nuovo, the new season's oil which we bottle and release immediately is pungent and peppery. Our winemakers (and oil makers!) are blending up our Extra Virgin Olive Oil and co-pressed citrus oils, which we will release in September. To make the Lemon, Lime and Orange oils we cut and zest fresh, whole citrus, which we press with the olives, giving a wonderful integration of flavours. Pictured are Lisbon lemons and zest about to be pressed with olives.

Infused in Organics

Tea grower turned wine grower, Aman Chowfin says he’s living his dream. The former assistant manager of an Indian tea plantation is more than happy with his new life in New Zealand as Seresin Estate’s Assistant Vineyard Manager.

Aman began work at Seresin in October 2006, after completing a wine making course in Gisborne. Before that Aman helped manage a 500 hectare tea plantation in Assam, India. Concern over the future of the Indian tea industry, and a desire for a better life for his family motivated Aman to explore other work options. In the same way grapes from different vineyards create distinctly different flavours in the bottle, each tea plantation produces tea leaves with individual flavours. Aman’s experience in the tea plantation provides the Seresin team with a unique perspective on terroir.

Check out Aman on the latest edition of Asia Down Under.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Earthly Autumn

Autumn marks the time when the Earth is inhaling, the atmosphere is opened up to allow the cosmic forces to come down and penetrate the Earth, the soil is absorbing all of the energy and potential for growth for the coming year. In the realm of biodynamics, this is the time for making and using Preparation 500.

On an Earth day in a descending moon after the Autumn Equinox, we all paused in our day to come together to make our Preparation 500. To do this, we filled cow horns with fresh manure from our lovely cow and bury them over the autumn and winter. The manure will absorb the energies that are coming into the inhaling Earth and the horn helps to collect and direct them into the manure.

We also apply Preparation 500 in the autumn. This is the time of year when the plants are most connected with the Earth. Growth above-ground is reduced or halted, while the plants remain firmly rooted in the soil. Root growth continues and all of the nutrients in the plant are directed here and to woody parts of the plant. Preparation 500 enhances the biology in the soil, increases the cation exchange capacity of the soil and attracts worms. All of this makes nutrients more available to the plants and more firmly connects them to the soil and enhances the symbiotic relationships that occur there.

This autumn, we applied Preparation 500 in a descending moon at a time when the Moon was opposite to Saturn. The Moon supports calcium processes, while Saturn supports those of silica. It is thought that during this time of opposition, both of these forces are enhanced and that by applying Preparation 500 at this time its effectiveness can be enhanced, leading to stronger, healthier plants. The Preparation 500 must be stirred in warm water for one hour before applying it and for the first time we used one of our purpose-built compost tea tanks that creates opposing vortices for stirring it. Notice the little vortexes in the photo from the tank (just right of center).... They are identical to those created using our flowform. As always, we stirred a smaller amount by hand to place our good intentions into it.

We’ll come back to Preparation 500 in the spring again, when the Earth begins to warm and awaken, and exhale in a burst of life.

Can Savvy be Serious?

The Wine Anorak site has a fascintaing article about a tasting of Sauvignon Blanc from around the world, involving leading wine critics, as part of a project to create a new 'icon' Sauvignon Blanc.

The 2007 Seresin Marama was one of the wines tasted blind and was given one of the highest scores in the tasting (92/100) with the following comment:"Intense minerally, toasty nose. Rich, concentrated and complex with powerful ripe fruit flavours and some smoky herbal notes. The palate has an amazing array of flavours: green herbs, toast, minerals and fresh citrus. There’s noticeable oak here but lots of fruit, too. An amazing wine that’s weird but really good."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Marlborough Environment Awards

Seresin Estate’s commitment to the environment has been recognised in the Marlborough Environment awards.

The winery has been chosen as the 2009 winner in the Winegrowers category and honored for its commitment to true sustainability. One of the first to embrace organics in the region, Seresin grapes have been progressively registered as organic by BioGro since 1997. In 2007 certification was extended to wines. The 163 hectare estate spans three different properties and includes 113 hectares of vineyard, olive groves, gardens, pasture, orchards and livestock.

The Marlborough Environment awards judges commented that “any visitor must be impressed by this property, the staff commitment and what they have achieved. They have created an old fashioned estate that is interesting, diverse and attracts people. The company supports both the region and the environment in the widest sense.”

The winner of the Supreme Award in the Marlborough Environment awards in 2001, Seresin Estate General Manager, MJ Loza, is very pleased with the 2009 result. “As a previous winner, we entered partly to support the Awards, but we’re very pleased that the developments we’ve made since 2001 have been recognized. It’s a positive endorsement of the direction we’re heading and we know there’s a lot more still to do.”

The judges highlighted as stand-out features, the application of over 500 tonnes of compost made on the property in the last year from vineyard and winery waste, as well as the full range of biodynamic preparations which are made on site and applied across the entire Estate. These are supplemented with ‘Cow Pat Pit’, a concentrated manure compost, and seaweed sourced from a farm in the Cook Strait and brewed over three months into a Seaweed tea, rich in valuable nutrients.

Seresin is on track to add to its BioGro certification, full Demeter certification. Demeter is the only world-wide biodynamic certification system used in over 50 countries.

Seresin Estate viticulturalist Colin Ross says “certifying our practices brings in a fresh pair of eyes and expert input, and makes us constantly evaluate the way we farm, encouraging us to keep improving the way we do things. It is also a way for us to actively support and promote biodynamic farming within New Zealand.”

Additional initiatives include the gradual replacement of CCA-treated pine posts with eucalyptus posts and reduction in water use by deep and long, but infrequent watering of vines designed to encourage deep rooting, hardy plants. Fifty percent of the Seresin tractor fleet is run on biodiesel, staff use bicycles for transport around the property where possible and a horse-drawn sprayer is being developed to replace work currently done by tractors on the estate.

Colin Ross says the power of one horse can accomplish the same work an 80 horsepower tractor can do. “Using horses results in less compaction of the soils in the vineyard, we emit less carbon and the horses can live off our own homegrown fuels such as grass and oats. We are also providing a home for retired trotters who would otherwise be culled.”
Seresin Estate owner Michael Seresin believes biodynamics is good for the land and the best way to make wine. “It has nothing to do with sales or marketing. I just believe it’s right. It has elements of a spiritual side, but it doesn't have to. In essence it's traditional agriculture, it’s how it was done before the chemical-age came along, and wine's been around a lot longer than the chemicals have.”

The company regularly holds open days at the estate and hosts a local biodynamic discussion group to encourage others within the New Zealand wine industry to investigate organic and biodynamic farming. Seresin Estate will again be open to the public for an Environment Awards field day, scheduled for Wednesday May 27 from 1:30pm to 4:00pm.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Harvesting

Our grape harvest was packed with beautiful fruit and lots of busy hands as we worked through the month of April to gather what the vines blessed us with this year. The weather was amazingly cooperative. The cool weather kept the acids in the berries lively and the extended absence of rain meant we could leave the fruit on the vine to allow for optimum flavour development. As each bit of fruit reached its perfect ripeness, we kept in mind the severe weather that was predicted at the end of the month. The Antipodean Astro Calendar suggested that the celestial events set to occur on April 27-28 (moons crossing with Mars, the Mars/Pluto square, moons perigee and moon reaching peak north) were indicators of severe weather and a higher chance of rain. Our last bit of fruit was picked on the 27th, while the rains rolled in as predicted on the 28th. Perfect timing!

Seresin Landfall Residency

Seresin Estate and Otago University Press recently announced New Zealand writer C.K. Stead as the first winner of the Seresin Landfall Residency.

C.K. Stead is a novelist, literary critic, poet and essayist and has been a prominent figure in New Zealand literature since the 1950s. He has published 13 collections of poems, two of short stories, eleven novels, six books of literary criticism and edited a number of texts.“My association with Landfall goes back as far as 1951 when I first offered founder Charles Brasch poems and has continued ever since. I feel very enthusiastic about the idea of a Residency set up to honour both the magazine and Harry Seresin whom I knew slightly in the days when he ran The Settlement restaurant in Wellington”, says C.K. Stead.

The connection between Stead and the Seresin family name continued with the 70s film adaptation of one of Stead’s best-known works.“Michael was the cameraman for Sleeping Dogs, which Roger Donaldson made from my novel Smith’s Dream”, adds C.K. Stead.

Stead will spend the six-week residency in Tuscany, working on an autobiography of his childhood and early years and a new collection of poetry.

Michael Seresin is delighted with the calibre of applicants for the 2009 Seresin Landfall Residency.“Given the quality of the applicants I found it very hard to choose a winner and we are honoured to have C.K. Stead as the first writer to hold the Seresin Landfall Residency. In this, the first year of the residency, I also wanted to take the opportunity to support a young writer who was just starting out.”Michael Seresin has offered an additional six-week residency in the Marlborough Sounds to Jenah Shaw. At twenty-one years of age, Jenah is a promising young writer at the start of her career. She will use the residency to finish work on her first novel.

‘It is difficult for anyone just to write and completely commit to a project without distraction – but it is especially difficult for a young writer with only the smallest beginnings of a career. While I’m still feeling a little stunned – and hugely privileged – I fully appreciate the enormous potential of this opportunity”, says Jenah.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Seresin Carrot Cake

Chris from Marlborough Wine Tours has very kindly shared with us the recipe for her famous Carrot Cake made using Seresin's citrus olive oils.

The recipe has been tried and tested by our Cellar Door Manager Amanda Bartholomew (we were lucky enough to enjoy a slice or two). Amanda used the Orange Oil in her version but feel free to substitute with Seresin Lime or Lemon oil. To make sure the cake isn't too heavy Chris recommends using half Olive oil and half grapeseed oil.

Seresin Carrot Cake
2 cups grated carrot
425 gm crushed pineapple
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
6 tbl oil - (3tbl grapeseed oil + 3tbl Seresin Orange Oil)
2 cups organic flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (or 2 tsp mixed spice)
½ tsp salt
3 eggs
¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt into a bowl. Stir in sugar.
Beat together oils and eggs. Add to dry ingredients.
Stir in carrot, pineapple and nuts.
Pour into large baking tin. Bake at 160*C for 1-1 ¼ hours.
Skewer test to check if done.


3 tbl soft butter
60gm cream cheese-soft
Juice of 1 lemon or orange
Zest of orange
250gm icing sugar

Mix well and spread over cake. Add orange zest as garnish.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Raymond Boyce: Sculpting the Empty Space

We are pleased to be able to support the opening night of Raymond Boyce's exhibition 'Sculpting the Empty Space' at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School.

In 2009, Dr Raymond Boyce, one of New Zealand's first professional theatre designers, gifted 9 sets of models to the NZ Drama School. The exhibition is a public acknowledgement of Dr Boyce's generous gift and consists of the 9 gifted models with three additional models loaned by the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Victoria University of Wellington, including relevant production documentation.

With Dr Boyce's association with Wellington's Downstage Theatre, and with Michael Seresin's father Harry Seresin, we're especially pleased that guests at the opening night function will be enjoying Seresin wines.

The exhibition opens on May 2nd and runs until May 9th at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, 11 Hutchison Road in Newtown, Wellington.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Getting behind Seresin

Hislops Wholefoods Cafe in Kaikoura is a great place to stop for good food and wine if you're visiting or passing through Kaikoura. As well as the fresh local seafood Kaikoura is famous for, there's a great range of organic and seasonal ingredients used in the menu.

Pictured above are Adam and Lou, behind a range of Seresin wines presented at a tasting hosted by Hislops last week, which included a special menu, matched to Seresin wines.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

2009 Vintage Update

Vintage 2009 officially began back in March with a small pick of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for our bubbly base. Cooler weather slowed down ripening and, after a two week delay, we began picking in earnest on April 1.

It is still early days but I am very excited with the quality of fruit coming into the winery. Our Chardonnay is looking phenomenal, with fantastic acid structure and the Pinot Noir is pristine.

If the weather is kind to us it looks like 2009 could be a classic Marlborough vintage!
- Clive Dougall, Winemaker

Friday, March 27, 2009

Giving the NZ Falcon a hand

More rare than New Zealand's national bird the kiwi, we think the New Zealand Falcon, our only native bird of prey, deserves our full support.
Extinction is forever - not something we will sit by and watch happen.

On top of that, we thought why not help out a native bird that gives us a hand - you see, as a bird of prey, the Falcon's presence reduces the impact of bird damge to our vineyards - avoiding netting and noisy guns.

We're pleased to be a Green Sponsor of the Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust - set up to help save the NZ Falcon and return it to its original range.

As well as lending the Trust some financial support up-front, on-going sales of our MOMO wine will help support the Trust and the NZ Falcon too. For every bottle of MOMO wine sold via the new MOMO website we're donating $2 to the cause.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Biodynamics in Marlborough

This month, the Marlborough Biodynamic Discussion Group welcomed a special guest –John Ridout, Programme Director of the Taruna Certificate of Applied Organics and Biodynamics. John was awarded the NZAPAP Tutor of the Year award for his outstanding work over the last three years in the creation and delivery of a very special programme that has been successful at all levels. Past, present, and future students of the Taruna program in Marlborough were welcomed to Seresin Estate for a tour of some of our biodynamic workings and to share in a tasty biodynamic meal. The Marlborough Biodynamic Discussion Group meets monthly to give those practicing biodynamics or those interested in it a way to get together to learn, share ideas and support each other in our journeys.

Snug as a Bug

Our biodynamic preparations have a new home in craftily made wine barrel boxes. After the preparations come out of the ground they need to be stored until we are ready to use them and we’ve done this by putting each into a “hand” made unglazed lidded pot that has been tucked in to peat inside of the wine barrel. The boxes are nestled away behind an oak cuvee in the winery, below ground level.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fruit-Thinning Semillon

Our weekly meeting is a great opportunity to give our staff row of Semillon a bit of fruit thinning. Fruit thinning is a technique used to concentrate the vines energy into fewer hand selected bunches.

Fruit thinning works in conjunction with trimming of the canopy. Trimming the top off the shoots stimulates the vine into producing lateral growth from this area. The vine now has an extra 30 cm of new, fresh, small leaves just ideal for a photosynthesis ‘boost’ of energy. The vine now converts this new energy into the accumulation of sugars within the berries.

Our staff had a great time clipping off the bunches’ ‘shoulders’, second set, and any substandard bunches. The next step is to protect our premium bunches from the birds!
By Leisha Van der spek

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sophisticated Sauvignon

Writing for the New Zealand Listener, Michael Cooper had some lovely things to say about our Sauvignon Blanc. "A sophisticated wine, Seresin is one of the region’s most satisfying and subtle sauvignon blancs, with indigenous yeasts, barrel fermentation and lees-ageing adding richness without swamping its pure, penetrating fruit flavours. It drinks well for several years and top vintages can mature solidly for up to a decade." For more on Marlborough Sauvignon and the trend towards a more subtle textural style of Sauvignon read the full article online.

Richard Reddaway soundscape at Suite

Seresin Estate is pleased to support the exhibition of a new sound installation at Suite Gallery in Newtown, Wellington, opening on March 14. Richard Reddaway, a contemporary sculptor and installation artist, will design and build series of speakers, blurring the lines between architecture, design and art to create beautiful objects that represent ‘chaotic growth.’ He sees his speaker work like a city – an explosion of human growth where objects are built upon, creating an urban sprawl full of noise. He will design, build and finish all the speakers himself and is working to have a specially composed soundscape played through his work. You can check out some of Reddaway's work at the gallery's website. The exhibition runs until April 4.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In a Pickle

The gherkins are coming on fast so one Friday afternoon we worked on filling our winter pantry with pickles. Harvested, cleaned, cut, seasoned and jarred with vinegar. Yum! We used a traditional Slovenian recipe from Sean's wife...Andreja Phillips’ Gherkins à la Sloveniana

- 2 kg gherkins
- 7.5 dl cider or white wine vinegar
- 3-4 tbsp salt
- Sugar (if you like)
- A few twigs of dill or tarragon, etc
- Whole spices – yellow mustard seeds, peppercorns
- 7.5 dl water

- Wash gherkins and sterilize jars
- Mix vinegar, water, salt and sugar in pot, heat just to boil
- Put gherkins in jars (whole or chopped, as you like) and add fresh herbs
- Pour the vinegar mix over the gherkins, 1 cm under the top rim, then screw lids tightly and cover with a blanket/towel to cool down slowly
- Store in dark, cool place at least 14 days


Friday, February 6, 2009

2008 Seresin Sauvignon Blanc

At the New Zealand Winegrowers' Annual Trade Tasting in London (early Jan 2009), Julia Harding MW had a marathon tasting of 75 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs fr0m the 2008 vintage. Tasting and writing for, Ms Harding described the vintage as "on the whole not terribly exciting", but found some good wines which "tasted dry and showed pure fruit characteristics that persisted right across the palate as well as showing a mineral character, in flavour or texture, to add depth and complexity."

The Seresin 2008 Sauvignon Blanc was one of 2 wines awarded Julia's highest score for the tasting. Grapes for this wine came from our 3 different vineyards, and were whole bunch pressed before being fermented in small portions, each treated differently. This gave us a wide range of flavours, textures and characteristics and we used 29 different portions to create the final wine which includes 6% semillon with 40% of the blend naturally fermented with wild yeast and 15% in aged French oak barriques for complexity, structure and texture.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Ducky Day

Our adorable Indian Runner ducklings came back to the farm today after being hand raised and protected from all things that bite, by Lisa. They hatched on Christmas Day, and had their first swim 2 days later.

Their parents welcomed them back today and are keeping an eye on them. Of the six little quackers, we think one is a boy. My, how they've grown!

We keep ducks for the eggs they gift us, the help they give in the gardens, and the entertainment they provide!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sacred Cows

Taking another step forward on our biodynamic path, last November two lovely cows joined our farm, a 14 year old Jersey who we have named Tara (Hindu for star) and a new calf named Nayan (Hindu for eyes). The names, when put together as Nayantara, mean the star of my eyes, perhaps the English equivalent to "apple of my eye" or "my favourite one".

As part of the biodynamic philosophy we use manure from lactating cows to make our cow pat pits and preparation 500. With Tara, we are now able to do this with our own cow that is grazing on our biodynamic land. They have brought a wonderful spirit to this place, enlivening it with their presence.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Seresin's 'Sexy' Sav

Writing in the latest issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller, Max Allen has selected our 2008 as one of 20 'Sexy Sauvignon Blancs'. He writes: "Seresin's Marlborough vineyards are certified organic and run along biodynamic lines. As well as the trademark regional savvy characters - attractive herbaceous aromas, crisp acidity - there's also an uncommon depth of grape-pulply texture and satisfaction."

Meanwhile, Ralph Kyte-Powell gave the same wine 4.5 stars in The Age newspaper (Epicure, Uncorked, 6 January 2009). "Does a light veneer of nutty oak work with sauvignon blanc? Only when it's very subtle, and Seresin shows the way. With 15 per cent fermented in old oak and 40 per cent made with wild yeasts, the result has complexity, length and presence. Herbaceous and tropical fruit is woven through with nutty, almondy notes, and there's a lovely savoury aftertaste."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Michael Seresin ONZM

Michael Seresin was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year's Honours list, recognising his contributions to the film and wine industries.

For more information, see the One News television segment, or listen to an interview which aired on Radio NZ.

Our heartfelt congratulations, Michael, from all the team at Seresin Estate.

Congratulations also to Peter Gordon, of The Providores in London, who joins Michael as an ONZM for his services to the food industry.