Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Peacock's Tail

This morning our copy of the latest Gourmet Traveller Wine arrived at the winery, with this glowing review from Bob Campbell MW of our 2007 Raupo Creek Pinot Noir:

'96 points, 5 stars. Concentrated, yet delicate wine showing surprising power and flavour length. Layers of cherry and berries, floral and savoury fruit flavours create a peacock's-tail effect on the finish. Very classy and attractive wine indeed.'

And the Sydney Morning Herald are running a feature on Huon Hooke's Top 50 wines for
Summer, and in his Sauvignon Blanc selection, the 2009 Seresin Sauvignon Blanc was the only New Zealand Sauvignon featured in a line-up of 6 international examples.

'93 points. A powerful sauvignon blanc that's a far cry from your typical Marlborough offering, with 14 per cent alcohol and rich, mouth-filling flavours. It has satisfying depth and complexity of character. Subtle barrel influence adds dimension. More, please!'

Huon suggests pairing the wine with Snapper and red capsicum puree. Delicious!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Opera in a Days Bay Garden

We are pleased to once again be supporting 'Opera in a Days Bay Garden' who are presenting Rossini's 'The Journey to Rheims' in outdoor European style. Guests will be welcomed with a glass of Seresin Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy a night of opera in Wellington's stunning Days Bay.

Organiser Rhona Fraser says 'musical performances in the garden sum up my life long asthetic. Music and nature, beautifully combined to create a higher art... I invite you to enjoy a very New Zealand performance. A New Zealand cast in a garden surrounded by nature in all its glory, with native beech forest framing the open air theatre, under our own Southern stars.'

For more information about the show or to book tickets, check out their website.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A note from a WWOOFer

Laying the foundations of a compost pile.

I spent two awesome weeks WWOOFing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) at Seresin Estate. I will never forget all that I learnt from working with this team! Thank you to everybody for the tons of compost we made - my hands will smell like it for weeks!

This was my fourth experience working on an organic farm, and the one which confirmed that I have found my passion - all because of the happiness these people are giving to this place!

By Jeremy Therond of Montpellier, France

A Biodynamic Bible

We had a parcel arrive at the winery last week - a box containing Monty Waldin's Biodynamic Wine Guide 2011.

As well as being a highly respected wine writer and host of 'Chateau Monty', Waldin is well versed when it comes to organic and biodynamic winegrowing.

Monty has self-published the third edition of the book; a comprehensive guide to biodynamic wine. He clearly and concisely explains the ins and outs of biodynamic winegrowing and how it differs from organic and conventional wine, and profiles over 1500 wineries embracing biodynamics - including Seresin, which has one of the longest profiles of any winery in the book.

Otherwise only available on Lulu.com, we have five copies of guide for sale in our Cellar Door. If you would like to get your hands on a copy, please send us an email.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Diary of a WWOOFer

Melanie with some of the Seresin chickens.

At Seresin we have had two French WWOOFers with us for the last few weeks - sisters Melanie and Laetitia Quilici from Paris. And to the great delight of the staff, they were as handy around the estate as they are talented at making crepes!

Laetitia making crepes.

The sisters say 'we learned a lot of things, it is a lovely place and the people are really nice. I would recommend Seresin to anyone who wants to WWOOF in New Zealand.'

Friday, October 22, 2010

Horses Of Course

It's the time of year when our three vineyards receive their annual application of of Biodynamic Preparation 500. Last week, we hand applied 500 to our Raupo Creek vineyard.

Staff hand-stirring Preparation 500 for spraying on our Raupo Creek Vineyard.

Our Estate Manager Colin Ross took a short video of the staff standing at the top of the hill ready to spread the preparation over the Pinot Noir vines.

And yesterday it was the Home Vineyard's turn; using both staff and our one horsepower tractor, Bill.
Six year old Bill and his brother Tom are Seresin's newest additions. They came to us six weeks ago, and have been being trained by Phil Amberger. Phil and his brother Ron are shown here driving the horse sprayer.

Bill and Tom pull our specially designed Seresin Bertolini Horse Drawn Sprayer, which will spray up to 30 hectares of our Home Vineyard with Biodynamic Preparations and Compost Tea this year.

Monday, October 18, 2010

WWOOFing at Seresin

Anna with Bill and Tom, our two clydesdale horses.

We were lucky enough to have Anna Gual, a hardworking WWOOFer from Spain, with us for several weeks recently. Anna says 'Seresin is a place that I would like to spent at least one year of my life. Not only for knowledge and to learn, but also for all of you who work on the farm. I think you form a good team and that makes it all work well.'

Anna bringing Olga in for milking.

Thank you Anna for all your hard work!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vine Life - Bud Burst

Last week our Semillon vine reached the Bud Burst stage. This is when the vine leaves dormancy - the sap starts to flow through the vine, the hard scales that have protected the tiny buds all winter peel back and let the vine really start to take off. It's a sure sign Spring has arrived!

And just a week later, the first leaves have started to unfold.

At the moment we are spraying compost tea across our entire estate, and this week the Home vineyard and the Semillon block got a turn.
Spraying compost tea helps create a culture of diverse biology on the vines and in the soil. This helps break down the canes (the pruned wood from last years vine growth) that we mulched into the soil under the vines through Winter. This biology also consumes any powdery mildew spores which are present on the vines from last year, and essentially does a big Spring clean of the vines and soil. This means we can delay spraying sulphur across the estate, because this biology is doing some of the cleaning up that sulphur would otherwise do. This Semillon block is completely sulphur free, so it's particularly important there is a strong, healthy environment to begin the growing season with.
The diverse biology that compost tea encourages also helps keep all the biology in check. Any disease cells present, like botrytis or powdery mildew, have to compete with all the beneficial bacteria and fungi. This maintains a balance in the biology and makes it very difficult for any particular species to get out of control.

Our compost tea also contains some biodynamic preparation 507 in it this time of year, to help protect the vulnerable new buds from frost damage. 507 is made with Valerian, a plant which has properties which excite bacteria - essentially making them move around and generate a small amount of warmth around the buds.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dine with Seresin

This Monday, dine by Peter Gordon is hosting a Seresin Winemaker's Dinner. Join Seresin winemaker Clive Dougall for a six course degustation menu featuring Akaroa salmon, smoked kahawai and prawn tortellini, Cambridge duck, Cervena venison and a sesame Bombe Alaska; all matched with Seresin wines.

This dinner is on Monday 20th September at 6.30pm in Auckland, New Zealand. To make a booking please contact dine on 09 363 6000 or for more information please visit their website.

We would love to see you there!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Complex Issue

This week marks the launch of an exciting New Zealand wine initiative in the USA; Complexity.

Complexity brings together 21 of New Zealand's great wineries with a single purpose: to establish our nation's credentials in the world of fine wine. The 59 fine wines in the Complexity portfolio showcase the diverse nature of our eight great wine growing regions.

We are really excited to be a part of this project, and have four Seresin wines included in the programme. Our Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay Reserve, Leah Pinot Noir, and Rachel Pinot Noir were all selected.

The Complexity website is a spectacular display of New Zealand and our wines, producers and regions, and for more information about the initiative, please visit the website.

Diary of a WWOOFer

September 1
Today was another sunny day in Marlborough, and my first day WWOOFing at Seresin. The Seresin vineyards have an abundance of plant growth and the land looks healthy and lively. I met the vineyard team who were warm and keen to help me learn more about organics and biodynamics. They range from PhD graduates to gardeners, from India to Nova Scotia and work in all areas from pruning to milking to biodynamic preparations.
Right off the bat I got my hands dirty in the vegetable gardens in the Home Vineyard where rows of grapes have been removed. Sean (a well travelled farming guru) and I planted hundreds of onions using Japanese Nawashi tools to break up the soil. At 10am the team breaks for 'smoko' where we gather eggs, vegetables and rocket for a snack and people share fresh bread and cheese they've made.
In the afternoon Rob (an ex-Psychology professor) and I suited up like astronauts to go and check the beehives. Thousands of buzzing bees greeted us and we checked for Verroa mites which kill the hive and its honey production. The hive was thriving so we split it to start a new hive and in 21 days a queen will have been chosen and the new hive will grow.

September 3
The vineyard has about 40 chickens, ranging from zebra-striped barred-rocks to 1970's wallpaper patterned barnavelda, which produce eggs for the staff and the shells are used in the compost for their calcium. The chickens spend their days exploring every nook and cranny of the farm, and sometimes lay in the strangest places. This morning Erin (the apprentice) and I cleaned the coops and collected dry pine needles to lay in their cubbies.
Afterwards we walked Bill and Tom, our two clydesdale horses, to a fresh field so we could collect their manure for compost. The friendly giants are used to pull the spray machines in the vineyard.

Wendy and Kevin showed me how to make cowpat pits that result in highly nutritious soil for the crops. We turned a bathtub full amount of cow manure collected from the dairy cow over the week, added crushed eggshells and basalt meal until it was aerated and mixed. We placed the manure into brick pits in the ground where earthworms will work to decompose it. Finally we added biodynamic preparations 502-507; yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian. In three months this decomposed mix will be spread through the vineyard to increase moisture absorption, earthworm and humus forming bacterial activity, and root penetration.

September 6
First thing this morning, I met Olga the milking cow. Wendy (a biodynamic expert) and I collected her from the vineyard and took her to the milking shed where she was given a treat of molasses, water and a salt crystal to lick. I learned how to squeeze the udder, pulling the milk down to prevent mastitis. From 4 udders and 4 hands we gathered 8 litres of milk! Afterwards I took Olga outside for a thorough brush. We returned her to the vineyard to roam freely and I collected her manure for future cow pat pits.
Back in the meticulously clean milk shed, we filtered and bottled the milk, to be separated from the cream tomorrow. I put yesterdays milk into a huge bottle and churned it for an hour until it turned into butter. Once solid, I washed the rem
aining milk from the butter and molded it into bricks. For lunch our guests from the Nelson Wine Company in Melbourne were served some very fresh butter!

September 7
Today I learned how to make compost tea. On our 1980's Jeep we collected year old compost as dark as 70% chocolate. All organic waste is saved daily to contribute to the compost. We took the compost to the mixing tanks where we added water, biodynamic preparations, molasses and sweet-smelling seaweed which had been aerated in a freeflow tank, and we left this all to mix. This liquid seaweed fertiliser will be sprayed on the estate at a later date to improve the health of the soil and grape growth.
Later on, the rest of the onions were planted and I weeded the raspberry field. I picked fresh leeks and potatoes from the gardens which I used to make a delicious soup.

By Meg Blakeman, WWOOFer from Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada. September 2010.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vine Life - Pruning

Between now and harvest in April 2011, we are going to blog the growing season of a Seresin vine to show how we manage our vineyards and what being biodynamic means for us. Every time we touch this vine, be it pruning, leaf-plucking, or spraying compost tea we'll show you what we're doing and why.

Outside our Cellar Door are a few rows of Semillon vines, the fruit from which makes up around 5 per cent of our Seresin Sauvignon Blanc each year. We have chosen one of these vines to profile.

Yesterday brought the first job of the growing season for this Semillon vine; pruning it to remove last years growth and getting the plant ready to grow again. Here Wendy is removing some of the old wood.

While Semillon is typically spur pruned, we also prune almost all the vines on our estate the same way, which is not so typical. There's a great picture here which shows the difference between spur and cane pruning. We find that spur pruning gives us more control of how the vine grows and the spacing between the shoots. It also means that the vine naturally yields less fruit, which improves quality. It also makes the vine hardier, and gives it a buffer against damage from frost and grass grub.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Coming Out of Winter

We’ve had rather wet winter this year, but temperatures are starting to rise already (along with the daffodils) and in no time at all, budburst will be here. In the meantime, we’ve been busy pruning the vines, through June, July and August. Most of our vines are spur pruned. For this type of pruning, we cut out the canes (shoots that are now woody) that grew last year, but keep a “spur” of wood with 2 buds at the base of the cane. It will be these buds that will provide the bunches for this years’ crop. Some of the canes are completely removed to allow for better sun exposure and airflow, as well as to ‘guide’ how many bunches the vine will produce. Most of the canes we cut out get mulched in the vine rows and the woodchips break down naturally into the soil. This year, some of our canes were collected, mulched, and used in our compost. They provide a great source of woody material (carbon source) for our compost. Making compost is another main winter activity for us. To learn more about how and why we make compost, have a look at our composting blog.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2011 Waterfall Bay Food & Wine Festival - Chef Annoucement

Nestled amongst native bush overlooking Waterfall Bay in the Marlborough Sounds, our occasional restaurant will again welcome guests to share in Seresin Estate’s own Food & Wine Festival.  Guest Chef for 2011 is Liza Shaw from
A16 restaurant in San Francisco.

Liza Shaw is Executive Chef and Partner in A16, a restaurant devoted to the food of Campania and named after the highway which runs from Naples to Canosa, Puglia. The food of A16 has its roots in the Mezzogiorno, commonly known as Southern Italy, and in la cucina povera, the art of wasting nothing whilst creating dishes that don’t sacrifice taste or goodness.

Liza Shaw says diners can expect a menu which celebrates local New Zealand ingredients, with a Southern Italian slant.  “My food is honest and soulful, with focused flavours that celebrate the seasons and ingredients at their peak. Handmade pastas, simple seafood preparations, house-butchered and cured meats, all enhanced by bright flavours and high quality ingredients.”

Dinners: Friday 11th, Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th and Monday 14th February
Lunches: Sunday 13th and Monday 14th

Reservations contact Moir Laird: moir@seresin.co.nz or Ph. +6435729408
Payment will be required to secure your reservation. 

MANA - Marlborough Natural Winegrowers

We're very pleased to be a part of MANA Natural Winegrowers, a group of five, like-minded premium Marlborough wineries who have joined together to help promote Marlborough as one of the world's great wine regions. 

Please see below for the full press release. If you would like to know more please visit the MANA website or contact Seresin General Manager, MJ Loza, on mj@seresin.co.nz 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Marcia's Pollo Arrosto with Seresin Chardonnay Reserve

Pollo Arrosto is one of Seresin Cook, Marcia Chang-Hong's, favourite winter dishes. Perfect for a dinner party, Marcia says this dish is a huge hit with anyone lucky enough to be invited to her place for a meal. 

Marcia says "it works well as you can prepare it hours before-hand and pop it into the oven an hour before you want to eat. It's also great for a big group. I like to serve the whole dish on the table as it looks great coming out of the oven."

Marcia suggests chopping about 4 large Desiree potatoes into big chunks, seasoning and covering them with a coating of olive oil before layering in the roasting pan under the chicken. "The potatoes soak up all the yummy juices of the chicken as it cooks, delicious served with a green salad and some crusty bread." 

Try this matched with a glass of the new release 2008 Chardonnay Reserve.

Lemon and Rosemary Chicken (Pollo Arrosto)
1 x 1.5kg chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 lemon, peel removed, pith and pulp chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Toss chicken with oil, rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, lemon, and salt and pepper in bowl. Marinate for a couple of hours.

2. Heat oven to 245°C. Arrange chicken in baking dish; add remaining marinade. Roast, flipping once, until cooked through, 30–40 minutes.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Fair Weather Blends

Small is beautiful, according to wine writer, Neal Martin. Check out his article on three boutique New Zealand wineries (including Seresin) who "beat the odds to develop praise-worthy wines in fragile micro-climates."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When Raewyn Atkinson left New Zealand to live in the USA, we were very sad to see her go. An acclaimed ceramic artist, we enjoyed catching up with her and Shaun in Wellington during our visits there -often sharing a glass of wine and meal with them.

The olive oil dishes for sale in our cellar door are a lovely reminder of her, as are the specially commissioned tableware and 'Light' installation at Waterfall Bay.

Of course we haven't lost touch with them and we especially enjoy hearing about their adventures in the USA. As unofficial brand ambassadors, they are busy introducing their new friends to our wines.

Here, Shaun is loading up with supplies from Vintage Berkeley - aptly located on Vine Street. Apparently the 2008 Seresin Sauvignon Blanc was a big hit with friends during a vacation at Lake Tahoe.

We're pleased they're enjoying a small part of New Zealand in the USA.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Man Who Married Himself

Michael Seresin's latest film project, The Man Who Married Himself, premiered at the LA Shorts Fest at the weekend, winning Best Comedy.

The short film is about Oliver who, in his mid-forties, is fed up with failed relationships so decides to get married, to himself. His unusual union is a triumph until he starts feeling that something is missing from his life. He starts looking for happiness elsewhere and discovers some truths about life and love on the way.

With the win at the weekend, the film is now eligible for consideration at the Oscars.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Seresin with Fish in Dish

In this month's issue of Dish Magazine was this delicious looking recipe matched with the 2009 Seresin Sauvignon Blanc. We can't wait to try it out!

Market Fish with White Wine, Grapes and Tarragon

For the fish:
750 gram fillets firm white fish, such as gurnard
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
knob of butter

For the sauce:
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken or fish stock
3 tablespoons cream
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method for the fish:
Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with sea salt and pepper. Dust the fish in the flour, shaking off the excess.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and drop in the butter. Add the fish and cook until golden on both sides and just cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Don't wash the saute pan!

Method for the Sauce:
Add the spring onions, garlic, tarragon and white wine to the pan. Cook over a high heat until most of the wine has evaporated., scraping the base of the pan to release any sticky bits. Pour in the stock and cream and cook until reduced and syrupy, then add the grapes and flat-leaf parsley, season and heat through.

To serve, place the fish on serving plates and spoon over the grapes and sauce. Serve with a root vegetable gratin and salad. Serves 4.

Wine writer Yvonne Lorkin says 'such a rich, creamy, herb-laden sauce and fleshy fish needs only the Seresin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 to reach perfection. It's a funky, multi-layered wine boasting elderflower, white peach, green nectarine and lovely hazelnut characters.'

Recipe is care of Dish Magazine.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You can't beat great Bangers & Mash!

Local Blenheim restaurant, Hotel d'Urville has created a dish to match our 2008 Leah Pinot Noir. For dinner, you can enjoy a glass of Leah beautifully complemented by a plate of spicy venison sausages, swede mash, spiced red cabbage and game jus. The dish is a new take on a winter favourite - each sausage is made with all natural ingredients, just meat, herbs and spices. Executive Chef, Maree Connolly, says "a good sausage with mash is a thing of beauty - everyone loves them!"

Hotel d'Urville maitre'd Jesse Gould is pictured here with the match. Picture courtesy of the Marlborough Express.

For those that cannot make it to Hotel d'Urville, Maree has kindly shared the recipe for one of her favourite winter meals, Lamb tagine - best enjoyed alongside a glass of Pinot Noir!

Lamb Tagine
1 Kg lean cubed lamb, cut from the shoulder
3 Tblsp oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tblsp fresh tarragon, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 cups chicken stock (or water)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
Salt and pepper to taste
15 pitted prunes
2 Tblsp clear honey
¼ cup blanched almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup raisins

Heat oil in large pan. Sear lamb in batches over moderate heat until evenly browned. Add onions, garlic and sauté until tender. Add spices, herbs, stock, orange juice and orange zest. Mix well and pour into large oven proof dish. Cover and bake 1 ½ hours at 160 C. Check occasionally and if getting dry add more stock.

Check seasoning. Add Prunes and Honey. Bake a further 10 minutes to soften prunes.

In a small pan, fry almonds and sesame seeds to golden brown. Add raisins, swirl in pan to heat through and sprinkle over lamb to serve.

Serve with couscous or rice.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Big Shwop ticket giveaway

We have two tickets to the upcoming Big Shwop in Wellington, along with two bottles of MOMO wine to give away!

To enter, simply email us at moir@seresin.co.nz with your details. Plus for every friend you get to enter, you'll receive an extra entry in the draw. Just get them to tell us you recommended them when they enter.


Nairobi Trio playing in Marlborough

If you're in Marlborough this weekend, you're in for a treat!

The Nairobi Trio are playing at Le Café in Picton this Saturday, alongside a tasting of Seresin wines and oils.

Tickets are $75 for the event, including wine tasting and a three course meal, or $25 for just the jazz. To book, please call Le Café on 03 573 5588.

We're really looking forward to an evening of good food, good wine, and good jazz!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Big Shwop Returns

We're pleased to be part of The Big Shwop's return to Wellington this winter - with a bundle of exciting new surprises under its belt.

For the first time The Big Shwop will be open to men, with a dedicated shwopping area for a He Shwop.

The first floor gallery of St James Theatre on Courtenay Place will be transformed into an eco-shopping extravaganza, where hundreds of fashionable Wellingtonians can swap up to twenty of their barely worn quality clothes from their wardrobes for fabulous new ones.

Shwoppers will be treated to some complimentary goodies, including a glass of the official wine of The Big Shwop - the certified organic 2009 MOMO Sauvignon Blanc - and some treats from Ecostore and Trilogy.

Big Shwop tickets are $20. To pre register and for all event information, please visit The Big Shwop webiste.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Celebrity Organic Vineyards

According to this Huffington Post article, 'no celebrity career is really complete without their own wine'. They have profiled 10 organic vineyards and their owners in the film and music industries - featuring Sting, Danny Glover, Sam Neill, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and Seresin's own Michael Seresin. Although the article is light-hearted, its always nice to see organics in action. Click here to take a look at the article.

Providores and Seresin Chiaroscuro

If you are in London this month you're in luck.

Throughout July The Providores and Tapa Room Restaurant will be pouring the 2007 Seresin Chiaroscuro by the glass.

First produced in 2007, the Chiaroscuro was inspired by Michael Seresin's enjoyment of the co-fermented white wines produced in North-Eastern Italy. The Seresin Chiaroscuro is a blend of co-fermented Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Pinot Meunier. An Italian term, Chiaroscuro, is the contrast of light and dark, luminosity and shadow and a reflection of the different characteristics of the wine's composite grapes. Only 400 bottles were produced and the wine is now sold out.

Providores Bar Manager, Melanie Ellis, says the 2007 Seresin Chiaroscuro was selected as the wine of the month because of its uniqueness.

"We believe it is one of the very special wines to come out of NZ. Very rarely are wines made this way and the story behind how it evolved is such a nice one to tell. I think people are a little dubious about ordering it off our list as it is so unique and without guidance people are unaware of it’s potential. We want to get people to understand and love this wine, the way we do!"

Providore's Chef and co-owner Peter Gordon, suggests matching a glass of Chiaroscuro with a salad of crispy pork belly and green papaya with lychees and tamarind caramel dressing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Season Oil

Olio Nuovo translates as 'New Oil', pressed on the day of harvest and bottled immediately, taking advantage of the unique flavours of freshly pressed oil. Our 2010 Olio Nuovo is available now.Only 200 bottles made, hand bottled, hand labelled and unfiltered. For more information or to order please check our website.

For the perfect way to enjoy our Olio Nuovo check out the recommendations below from Seresin Cook, Marcia Chang-Hong.

"I think that the very nature of olio nuovo dictates what it can be used for. The freshness and fruity purity of the oil is akin to fresh milk from a cow or sucking honey from the honeycomb in the hive. I'd resist cooking with it. Heating it causes the polyphenols to lost their properties and changes the taste.

The best way to use it is to drizzle it on fresh crusty bread or make bruschetta or pour it over pasta, soups and salads.

Given the lack of fresh veggies available and the cold winter weather I think Lentil Soup is an appropriate recipe for the times. Drizzled with generous pouring of olio nuovo to give a hint of something extravagant and something fresh to perk up your taste buds."


Lentil Soup

1½ cups small brown lentils
6 tbsp olio nuovo
1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1 leek finely chopped
3 ounce piece of pancetta or bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
a sprig rosemary
small bunch of sage
2 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper

Soak lentils for half and hour and drain
Gently warm half of the olio nuovo with the vegetables and pancetta. Stir gently over a soft heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and sauté a few more minutes. Add the lentils then tie the herbs together and add. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring gently.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes until the lentils are soft.

At the end of the cooking time remove ½ cup of the lentils and reserve. Remove the herbs and puree the soup in a food processor. Return to the heat and stir in the reserved whole lentils. If the soup is too thick, add some stock or water to loosen.

Season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with lots of fresh olio nuovo and chopped parsley and fresh black pepper.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Olive Harvest 2010

Yesterday brought not only the first snow to the hills around the winery, but also the first day of our Olive Harvest for 2010. First to be harvested were some Leccino and Pendolino, followed by some Frantoio this morning.

Here Colin is harvesting the olives from the trees along the boundary of our Home Vineyard. We harvest the olives using rakes which gently shake the branches of the tree. The ripe, healthy olives fall from the tree onto the nets we lay down. Any olives that have been damaged by frosts or birds cling to the tree - so only the best olives are collected. That said, this year we have been very lucky with a warm May, and the olives are free of frost damage.

Then we collect the olives which have fallen onto the nets below the trees, and take them to be pressed at Marlborough's community olive press.

The olives are first washed, and passed through a tray with large holes to separate them from any leaves that are inevitably collected.
Then the olives are smashed into a paste using a hammer mill - stones and all. This paste then passes through the malaxer shown above, which mixes and agitates the olive paste.

The olive paste then passes through a centrifuge, a machine which separates out the oil by spinning it at high speed, leaving you with beautiful green olive oil! The remaining paste of flesh and stones can then be brought back to the vineyard for composting.

This olive oil will form part of our Olio Nuovo, literally 'New Oil', the bright, fresh, green olive oil released soon after harvesting and pressing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Seresin Landfall Residency 2010

Alongside Otago University Press, we are delighted to announce New Zealand writer and curator Wystan Curnow as the winner of the second Seresin Landfall Residency.
Wystan Curnow is a writer, curator, editor and educator who has worked in the arts for 40 years, publishing 30 books and numerous articles, reviews and poems.
He will spend the six-week residency in Tuscany working on a book on prominent New Zealand artist Colin McCahon. Wystan says 'it is taking a bit of time to sink in - you don't count on such outcomes.'
Michael Seresin says the quality of the 2010 applicants made a final decision very difficult, however he felt it was important to support Wystan Curnow's latest work.
'The project that Mr Curnow is working on has an enormous amount of merit, not least because Colin McCahon is such a pivotal figure in New Zealand art. I believe we should contribute anything we can to get this work completed.'
Mr Curnow says 'McCahon was a friend of my family, my mother especially. As a secondary school art student I was selected for an advanced class at the Auckland City Art Gallery, taught partly by McCahon. As a university student I hung out with him at the Gallery and in the pub after work.'
Curnow adds 'my writing and curating of McCahon work is notable for shifting attention to his later language-based works at a time when his landscape work was preferred by most critics, and for introducing McCahon to an international audience first in Australia and later in Europe.'

For more information about Mr Curnow and the 2010 Seresin Landfall Residency, please visit our website.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tasting by the Moon

The moon and its rhythms has long been an important part of Biodynamics. It has such a huge impact on the tides - why not soils, plants, people, and wine too? Biodynamics aims to work in harmony with these rhythms as much as possible - spraying the biodynamic preparations on the land and plants when they are best absorbed, pruning when vines are at their most resilient - the list goes on.

UK journalist Jonathon Ray, from the Telegraph, has been asking whether the moon affects how wine tastes. Ray discusses how the major UK supermarkets are holding their press tastings according to the Biodynamic calendar, and finding the results convincing. Click here to see the full article.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Harvest 2010 - Raupo Creek Pinot Noir

After three weeks of post-ferment maceration, Clive decided it was time to press our Pinot Noir from the top of the hill on our Raupo Creek vineyard. This is the Pinot we hope will become our 2010 Sun and Moon.

Through harvest, Clive tastes each Pinot Noir every day until he thinks the wine is nearly ready to be pressed and put into barrels. Then the samples that Lindsey has kept each day are put into a line-up, and the winemaking team will taste the samples. Here some of the line-up is shown - from the earlier samples on the left, through to todays sample on the right. Once Clive thinks the wine has has got the best that post-fermentation maceration has to offer, it is time to press the wines to barrel.

The first step is to drain the free-run wine, which we hold in a small tank until the skins have been pressed. Next is the fun part - digging out the grape skins from the tank. This seems to be the job that everyone in the winery wants to do!

Today Kevin and Lars had the job of digging. Kevin moved to New Zealand from Canada several years ago, and each year spends harvest in the winery, and the rest of the year works in our vineyards. Here the two of them are in the tank digging the skins onto the chute leading into the press.

The pressed juice goes into the tank with the free-run juice and mixed before being transferred into barrels. The grape skins are then taken out to our compost piles to form part of our next compost heap.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Harvest 2010 - Handprints

Every year our vintage team have the opportunity to leave a permanent reminder of their time with us - through their influence on our wines and on the walls of our winery.

These concrete walls are adorned with the marks of past and present harvest staff.

Their handprints, alongside their name and home country, a fitting memento of their hard work.

Today our 2010 harvest staff had their turn.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Harvest 2010 - Paella

As well as being Seresin's Assistant Winemaker, Carlos Orgiles is also our resident paella expert, a dish he is frequently asked to make! Carlos is from Ibi, which is 45 minutes inland from Alicante, in Spain. Rabbit paella is a traditional dish there - often cooked on Sundays with the whole family.

He has kindy offered to teach us the basics of paella making with this delicious seafood paella that he and sous chef Marcia made for lunch for the winery team today.
The first thing to do, is to make or get your hands on a good, flavoursome fish stock. A good stock is important to enhance the flavours of the paella. Marcia cooked about 1kg of mussels in our already finished fish stock today, which gave the stock more flavour and got the mussels cooked and ready for the paella. You'll need about 2 cups of stock for every cup of rice.

Then, in a large paella pan, fry onion and celery until soft over a medium heat. Add in any vegetables you want to use - we used broccoli and beans - and cook for a few minutes until they just start to soften. Then Carlos added prawns, monkfish and crayfish and fried these for a few minutes. Carlos says 'paella is like pasta - you can use any meats and vegetables that you want. My favourite is artichoke paella, with cauliflower, brocolli, beans and peas.'

Then after a few minutes, add Arborio rice. Carlos measures the rice by cupping one of his hands, and fills it with grains of rice. Use two of these handfuls per person. Pour the measured rice across the fish and vegetables - spreading it evenly across the pan.

Then add almost all your stock - poured across the paella. Carlos suggests keeping aside a little bit of stock, in case it all evaporates before the rice is cooked.

A crucial part of paella making, Carlos says, is 'don't stir it! With a spoon, even out the little mountains of rice. If some parts of the pan have lots of rice and not much stock, take a spoonful of that rice and put it in a part of the pan with lots of stock and not much rice.

Sprinkle saffron, black pepper, cloves and salt over the paella. Also add a tiny bit of paprika - 'only a tiny bit. The paprika is only for flavour - not colour. The saffron is for the colour.'
Let this simmer until the rice is cooked. If the rice is still crunchy and the stock has evaporated, add the reserved stock. If the rice is cooked and the paella is still sloppy - turn up the heat to absorb the liquid quickly. Here you can add any ingredients which are already cooked, like the mussels we had pre-cooked in the stock.

Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and make a 'lid' for the pan with newspaper, folding the edges down. Carlos likes to use the sports pages for this - so he can read them while the paella rests for 5 to 10 minutes.

Carlos and Marcia served the paella with slices of lemon and homemade allioli (Spanish aioli), and a glass of Rudd Vineyard 2008 Sauvignon Blanc that Lindsey brought from the winery she works at in Napa, USA.