My partner Sue is pleased to have Brendan Seal’s wines in her portfolio. Brendan does it differently and to no-one else’s tune, and because of that, he has a strong following. Brendan makes small lots of unique wines, invariably one-off bottlings made from small parcels of fruit which he aims to represent provenance, while incorporating some of his own techniques he has learned, or given thought to. This modus operandi is untenable for producers who crave for consistency, but for Brendan and his clientele, it is extremely interesting and of course fun.
It’s great to see the Desert Heart girls back in action. Denny Downie and Jane Gill sold their original vineyard site at the end of Felton Road in Bannockburn to Sam Neill, who is producing his Two Paddocks single vineyard ‘The Fusilier’ Pinot Noir from the fruit. It’s a high quality wine which no doubt owes much of its character to the way Denny and Jane set up and maintained the vineyard.
Wine tourism has become one of the most popular pastimes for visitors and holidaymakers. Each winegrowing region has its unique attractions that make a visit special. Cycling is a popular way of getting about, especially if a moderate distance between wineries is involved. Sometimes, a car is necessary. However, there’s nothing like getting up-close to nature. I reckon that wherever vines are planted, it’s going to be a beautiful and picturesque place. So to me, there’s nothing like walking around and in vineyards.
Wet Jacket is the new Central Otago venture of Greg Hay who set up the business in 2015 following his departure from Peregrine Wines. Greg is one of the early vignerons of the region, originally establishing Chard Farm with his brother Rob. www.wetjacket.nz