Lasting Relationships & Collaborations

A week of tastings, events and very long lunch!

The Trade Tasting – Auckland
Every year, we embark on a New Zealand roadshow known as the Fine Wine Tour with our distributor Negociants, along a fabulous collection of Australian and New Zealand wineries. It’s a chance to renew friendships with fellow vintners and enjoy the camaraderie of travelling with this ‘family’ of wine. Negociants is the distribution arm of Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family owned winery which has 6 generations and 170 years of history and so naturally, their distribution arm also embraces just family-owned businesses.

For us, being part of the Negociants portfolio really feels like being part of a great family of wine with whom we share a common set of values. Joining the Negociants portfolio in late 2009 with the launch of the Misha’s Vineyard brand, we embarked on our first New Zealand tour in 2010 with just four wines. This year marks our 13th year being part of this wonderful portfolio with a range that now extends to 10 wines.

Misha & Olly at the stand – Wellington

Commencing the tour in Auckland, after a morning business update from the Negociants team, we manned our stands on the main floor of the Royal Yacht Squadron – home to the America’s Cup Trophy! It’s a fantastic venue that we’ve used for a number of years as it’s an ideal space for this tasting extravaganza! During the four-hour afternoon trade tasting welcomed literally hundreds of guests. With a short break to re-set, another large group of consumers converged for an evening tasting. All the wineries regrouped for a late night dinner with the ‘sensible’ ones returning to their hotel around 11pm. Up early in the morning for shuttles to the airport and a flight to the next city, Wellington, and we were all ready to do it all again!

The Negociants ‘family’
This year’s tour took in three cities, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

We added another layer of complexity to this year’s tour, partnering with Langmeil winery from the Barossa for a series of wine events that ‘top and tailed’ the tour. Our relationship with Langmeil is a result of many years of being positioned next to Langmeil on the Negociants tour i.e. L comes before M and the wineries are always positioned around the room in alphabetical order for tastings!

Andy, Misha & Leigh
We have stood in for the Langmeil team if they’ve been away from their stand, we’ve shared ice-buckets, spittoons and also shared a fair of bit wine and conversation! When Leigh Woodrow suggested we collaborate on some events three years ago, it seemed like a great idea. We’d come to realise our respective estates had a lot in common and we had mutual respect for each other’s wines. We also realised we had a completely contrasting range of wines, from vastly different climates, and from opposite sides of ‘the ditch’ (i.e. the body of water between New Zealand and Australia that’s more formally known as the Tasman Sea!).

Finally after a couple of years of COVID interruptions, the collaborations happened! On the Saturday prior to the Fine Wine Tour, Leigh flew into Auckland from the Barossa and we flew up from Queenstown. That evening we hosted a fabulous Degustation Dinner for 60 people at Harbourside Bar & Grill.

Wine Dinner at The George – Christchurch
What could be better than a dinner in the middle of winter with the rich reds from the famous Barossa region along with some cool climate aromatic whites (and Pinot Noir) from Central Otago. We held another fantastic degustation wine dinner in Christchurch the day following the Negociants trade and consumer tastings at The George – a wonderful boutique hotel and where all of the wineries on the Negociants tour had been staying. The next morning, we flew to Queenstown to finish the week with a Long Lunch together at Botswana Butchery Queenstown. Commencing at 12.30, we thought things would wrap up mid afternoon but at 5pm, almost no one had left!

Exhausted but exhilarated was the only way to describe how we all felt after the week! Not only was the Negociants tour a wonderful success but the Langmeil & Misha’s Vineyard collaboration dinners (and lunch) were incredibly well received. So if you ever come to a Negociants Fine Wine tour, feel free to ask us about Langmeil and the Barossa – or ask Leigh about Misha’s Vineyard and Central Otago – we’ve both become even better acquainted with each other’s wines and stories.