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.