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."