Misha looks at some activities on Misha’s Vineyard through January – normally our quietest month!
Even when we think we’re going to have a quiet month, it never really works out that way. But to be honest, I think we’d be bored if we did have things too quiet! Our year started with a New Year’s Day party at home with a ‘hat party’ which was a lot of fun, but then we were back into work mode with our first wine festival two days later.
The Old Cromwell Wine & Food Festival is a small affair but an opportunity to let our local community come and try our wines since we don’t have a cellar door. About a dozen Central Otago producers (mainly the boutique wineries) set up marquees alongside some food tents and with wonderful warm weather, we all enjoyed a fabulous afternoon on the green. We chatted with the locals, served lots of wines and got into the rhythm of things with a little dancing in our tent to the sensational country pop music of Jody Direen – the guest performer for the afternoon. We were lucky to have our friends, Mark and Annabelle staying with us at the time, as we roped them in to help serve wines in our marquee. And it was lucky they did, as the four of us hardly paused for breath all afternoon!
It’s an amazing thing, but we always find at these festivals that when people can try a taste of our Limelight Riesling, it then becomes their favourite. It was the most popular wine we served that day – ahead of our Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc. Even Jody Direen enjoyed a glass of Limelight Riesling during her performance and then posted in her Facebook later how much she enjoyed the bottle she’d taken home with her!
Our first visitors in January were Sharon and Chris Dawson – Sharon’s brother Carl manages Golddiggers – a wine retail store in Thames, a town in the Coromandel Peninsula of NZ, where Andy and I had a really fun tasting event last year and broke the record for selling more wine than any other wine dinner they’d had! Then Kip Heegaard and his father Peter, all the way from Minnetonka, Minnesota (USA), popped in to see us on their way to the fabulous Cedar Lodge, north of Wanaka, for a spot of heli-fishing. I met Kip and his wife Lucy on Twitter and found out they visit many vineyard and taste many wines and write a blog called the Thirsty Kitten. http://thethirstykitten.com/ Their blog works as their “virtual” wine bar where they share what they love to do — sip, learn, and talk about wine. When Kip told us “Lucy and I are huge Riesling fans although ours hearts belong to Pinot noir” – we knew we’d hit it off so it was great to be able to meet Peter in person.
Later in January it was nice to get a call from Liam Hindle from Victoria Wines, our distributor in Fiji, to tell us he was in town and wanted to visit along with his wife and daughter. It was the first time Liam had been to see Misha’s Vineyard so he wasn’t quite prepared for what he’d find on our vineyard – rocks! As a former geologist, Liam gets pretty excited by rocks, naturally, and he was gobsmacked by the size, quantity and shape of the rocks on Misha’s Vineyard! To be honest I fell in love with the rocky outcrops on our ‘canyon’ when I first saw the piece of land that became Misha’s Vineyard so I can understand his enthusiasm. Although he’d seen many photos, standing on our vineyard is the only way to appreciate the size and steepness of our land – in fact we made Liam and his daughter walk down the ‘ski slope’ block to truly appreciate it’s incline!
We finished the month with the 11th annual Pinot Celebration in Queenstown. But there’s so much to tell you, it’s worthy of its own posting!