Trevor Bolitho founded Waimeas Estates with his wife Robyn, eschewing apple orcharding in 1993. The business has grown and with 140 ha of vines, Waimea Estates has become one of the largest winegrowing operations, along with Seifried Estate in the Nelson area. Trevor and Robyn’s son Ben is now in charge at Waimea Estates and takes a particularly focussed role in tending the vineyards. He heads a most capable team with Trudy Sheild as winemaker and the vastly experienced Martin Carrington in marketing. Even though the company is established and key personnel in place, Trevor is still the man at Waimea Estates. He was on hand to meet us on our visit, and he was keen to take us around the winery and vineyards.
2012 looks to have been a top vintage in the Nelson district, and Trudy, Trevor and Martin were excited with what they have in the tanks, awaiting blending and bottling. A Gruner Veltliner 2012 showing classical spiced citrus, herb and white pepper aromatics and a surprisingly textural mouthfeel. This looks very promising. Two portions of Gewurztraminer 2012 were tasted, firstly a ‘pressings’ component which will probably account for one-third of the final wine. Concentrated and dense, almost essence of Turkish Delight, with slippery mouthfeel despite the depth and body. Then a ‘free-run’ portion, destined to make two-thirds of the blend, showing beautiful delicacy, finesse and gorgeous acid cut. Trudy has been working on the best sugar balance for the rosé wine and the Rosé 2012, based on Mariafeld clone Pinot Noir plus a secret component may have it right. Fresh strawberries, sweet and rich in fruit, yet with great stylish mouthfeel, carrying only 7 g/L rs. Pinot Noir is a significant wine for Waimea Estates, with 80 barrels, or 2,000 cases produced. The ‘House and Shed’ block Pinot Noir 2012, based on 115 and clone 5, dark, dense and concentrated with a firm drive and minerally nature. Then a ‘Pack House’ block Pinot Noir 2012, based on Dijon clones 667 and 777, possessing violet florals along with cherry and charry oak notes. Waimea certainly has plenty of variety from the different vineyard blocks. This was put forward by Trevor, and it was tasted here. After all, Trev’s the man! www.waimeabrands.com