We’ve just spent a few days in Auckland to officially launch the new 2011 vintages of our white wines, our new 2009 reserve Pinot Noir and also announce a new addition to our Pinot Noir range! It all started at The Grove on Thursday 1st March at our 4th Annual New Release Media Lunch. We keep going back to The Grove because it’s the best – literally! http://www.thegroverestaurant.co.nz/
The Grove was the Restaurant of the Year in 2011 and 2010 so what better place to welcome a group of journalists to try our latest wines! Our group of 17 tasted 11 wines over 3 courses and finished with exquisite petit fours! (I’m so glad we weren’t the ones having to wash the 180 glasses used at the lunch!!). Michael Dearth, who owns The Grove with his wife Annette, are a delight to deal with and Head Chef Ben Bayly is a truly talented man.
Later that day, we did a two-hour seated tasting at the Fine Wine Delivery Company for 50 people and had sold out 10 days prior! The Fine Wine Delivery Company is a very special place for us as we launched our wines there in November 2008 and know the Poole family who owns it very well! We themed the evening around Pinot – both Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir – which are genetically almost identical varieties. We did a vertical tasting of our Pinot Gris over 4 vintages including our latest 2011 release and then tasted through a total of 5 Pinot Noirs including our newly released 2009 “Verismo” Pinot Noir which is our latest reserve. It was exciting to see the reaction to this wine as our first review for the wine rated it at 92 points – that was from Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (who writes for Wine Advocate, so that’s what you’d call our “Parker” score), and of course we were thrilled with that. Whilst in Auckland, we also took the opportunity to update the sales team at Negociants (our wonderful New Zealand distributor), and showed them our new ‘by-the-glass’ Pinot Noir called Impromptu by Misha’s Vineyard. They loved it and so very soon our 2010 vintage of Impromptu will be finding its way to fine restaurants around New Zealand. We also had some in-depth 1:1 sessions with journalists to take them through the new release wines and had some very positive feedback from those!
One of the highlights of our Auckland trip were the two visits to The Blue Elephant http://www.blueelephant.co.nz/ It’s a fabulous Thai restaurant tucked away in a cobblestone alley in Parnell where we enjoyed the best Thai food we’ve had in ages! And of course The Blue Elephant is a big supporter of our wine and offers our Limelight Riesling and our Gewurztraminer by the glass (ideal accompaniments for Thai food) and they also have Misha’s Vineyard “The High Note” Pinot Noir by the bottle. But what did we drink when there – Thai beer!