This month we drove to Christchurch to present our wines to The New Brighton Wine Club after John Bartlett from NZ Wine Directory kindly introduced us to the group a few months back. This was our first encounter with a wine club in New Zealand and in spite of a fierce thunderstorm on the night, everyone that had booked turned up. (Given what the folks in Christchurch have been through with the earthquakes over the past two years, a thunderstorm was certainly not going to have an impact!). The group was very enthusiastic and gave us their undivided attention for over two hours and it was an absolute pleasure to host the tasting.
Due to some refurbishment at the New Brighton Club itself, the venue was the Ferrymead Golf Club which has an ideal room for the 44 people that attended the tasting. Andy and I brought all of our eight wines in the Misha’s Vineyard range and we managed to drain a total of 24 bottles on the night! In between tasting all the wines, Andy and I told stories of how the idea for Misha’s Vineyard came about, what we set out to achieve with the brand, the Chinese history of our vineyard and why all of our wines all have theatrical names! Everyone was so keen to hear the stories behind the brand – it’s so nice when you’re talking to a group of wine aficionados who are really keen to know more!
The club members were very excited that included in the tasting was the very limited “Verismo” – our Reserve Pinot Noir which recently scored 96 points in Gourmet Traveller WINE in Australia and also received 92 points in the US Wine Advocate (i.e. its ‘Robert Parker’ score). We also presented two of the wines that are only available in some of our export markets -the “Lyric” Riesling which is our dry style Riesling and our Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc called “The Starlet”. At the end of the night, there were many orders for our wines which showed that the wines were well received across the range.
John lists about 20 wine clubs and groups on his website (www.nzwinedirectory.co.nz) and there are undoubtedly many more groups operating around New Zealand. Methinks we might plan on visiting a few more wine clubs in the coming months!
Update – Here is a link the the New Brighton Wine Club Blog on our tasting -> New Brighton Wine Club Blog