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Ah Grasshopper – it is going to be a cool vintage

Grasshopper has been sitting on the rock long enough to feel a cool vintage coming. The 2013 vintage is expected to cooler than normal. Following the difficult vintage just concluded in the northern hemisphere, Grasshopper feels the Rock is on track to experience one of its coolest vintages for many years. Already some of the weather patterns are looking like previous cool years. This last winter we experienced the most extensive period of hoar frosts since the hoar frosts of winter 2006. Th...

November 2, 2012

E’Sensual Pinot Central 2012

Immersion in Central Otago Pinot Noir for four days delivered a huge eye-opener for international guests hosted by Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd. Influential wine buyers and sommeliers from some of the top establishments joined us to explore the wines, the vineyards, the sub-regions and understand the people who make it all happen. It was not all work – curling, a Central Otago tradition, was a highlight. It is a great opportunity to build relationships with existing contacts like Julian...

August 3, 2012

Grasshopper Rock Wine-Stars Winner – the inside story

We are still on a high after Grasshopper Rock made the top 10 at the world’s first ever Wine-Stars. Billed as a Dragon’s Den style wine competition and held at the London International Wine Fair on 24th May 2012 this event has opened people’s eyes to how wineries from seemingly out of nowhere can engage with some of the world’s most powerful wine buyers. It may have revolutionised the way new wineries make it to the top. Plenty has been written about this event so I will summarise it b...

June 7, 2012

Grasshopper Rock – Wine Stars Top 20

There’s a big buzz around Grasshopper Rock – we are through to the TOP 20 at Wine Stars! Grasshopper Rock is one of only 20 wineries chosen from around the globe to compete for the hearts of the UK wine trade and their customers. Sounds a bit like X Factor or Dragons Den and it is. The difference is we will have to travel 12,000 miles to get into the final 10 who will pitch to key UK wine trade judges. It all happens next week on 24th May at the London International Wine Fair. With just o...

May 18, 2012

The ferment – 11 May 2012

Excellent and very are words not often used at this stage of the ferment and when a winemaker sounds this excited it says a lot about the 2012 Pinot. Normally interpreting winemaker’s comments is akin to interpreting the comments of the Reserve Bank Governor, but I think we are getting a clear signal here. Pete Bartle, our winemaker, gives us a hint on how things are looking as of today (11 May). Pete’s winemaking philosophy is that most of the work is done before the fruit arrives at the ...

May 11, 2012

Vintage 2012 – like no other

The final outcome of vintage 2012 is looking very good at this point. It was a great relief to have all our grapes safely in the winery on 26th April. With the unusually damp and cool weather we had mid-season we were pretty nervous about how the rest of the season would unfold. May be we should have had more confidence in the vineyard and Alexandra’s dry climate. Thanks to Mother Nature’s remarkable ability to achieve balance, all ended well with one of the most amazing periods of long, s...

May 9, 2012

Equinox passes and stress commences

The March equinox has just passed and already my mind is focused on the last few stressful weeks of ripening Pinot Noir grapes before winter arrives. Tomorrow we take our first grape samples to test sugar and acid levels. We are a few weeks away from harvest but we need to know how things are progressing. How much do sugar levels need to increase and how much does acidity need to drop before we are getting close to harvest? There is no precise point we are aiming for – we just want to get the...

March 22, 2012

Pinot Celebration and a question of cru

Pinot Celebration 2012 (Queenstown 26-28 Feb 2012) “This is like going to a rock concert when you used to be able to get up close to the band…you get to drink with and hang out with the rock stars” Doug Frost MW MS speaking at The Grand Dinner This is what makes the Pinot Celebration special and it is why some people have been to all nine events. There is some amazing Pinot Noir in Central, great winemakers and outstanding chefs. The Celebration brings together people from many backgrou...

February 1, 2012

Book review – Authentic Wine

Authentic Wine, toward natural and sustainable winemaking by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop MW, (University of California Press) Est NZD 40.00 (I purchased from Amazon $37 delivered)...

January 22, 2012

Pinot Celebration 2012

Pinot Celebration 2012 – Queenstown www.pinotcelebration.co.nz One of the most exciting Pinot events of the year is nearly here. 26th-28th January is Central Otago’s annual Pinot Celebration (Well, annually except when the three yearly NZ Pinot event is on, next in 2013 www.pinotnoir2013.co.nz). 35 leading Central Otago winegrowers gather to enjoy current and past vintages of Pinot Noir with Pinot lovers from NZ, Australia, USA, Asia, UK and anywhere in the world that Pinot Noir lovers l...

January 19, 2012

Should the NZ wine industry care about the Government’s dithering on biodiesel?

For me the answer is an emphatic YES. Great brands have distance from their competitors and it will take more than just making great wine to achieve this. How we grow wine needs to be part of the brand story. One of the most visible operations in most vineyards is tractors. Tractors for mowing, spraying, leaf plucking, trimming, harvesting and pruning. Some vineyards do all these and more and some do less depending on grape variety, location and economics. We would like to run our tracto...

November 23, 2011

What is the state of the NZ wine industry right now?

Yesterday I had an enjoyable day visiting wine trade customers and prospects. Yes I know, not everyone stocks our wine and those that didn’t had excuses which I failed to outweigh.(#FAIL) Here are my insights: Not much has change in the past two years. Still heaps of crazy deals on offer as wineries try to clear surplus stocks of wine. It is the wineries/distributors who are making the offers – so you can’t blame the retailers. Google “$6.99 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc” and you w...

November 16, 2011

Plagiarism in the wine industry

When it comes to wine tasting notes it seems some people have no scruples. Have a look at these screen shots. Do you think this was just a misunderstanding between an online retailer and a wine company? I don’t think so, but it is difficult to get the truth so you be the judge. The offending screen shot was taken before the tasting note was wisely deleted by the online retailer after an appropriate phone call. We are of course quite flattered that someone should want to use a review of our win...

November 8, 2011

The big snow of August 2011

On the evening of 11 August snow swept the vineyard and by day further snow fell. Nothing unusual about snow, but this was of the most significant snow falls in many years, leaving the vineyard completely blanketed. In Queenstown it was claimed to be the biggest snow fall in 50 years. People were confined inside for two days with no way of getting about, certainly not by car. Blizzard conditions in the vineyard (below) are quite a new experience....

August 26, 2011

International wine professionals visit Central Otago for sub-regional tastings

Every year Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd (COPNL) hosts a select group of wine professionals. Over four days our guests are immersed in Central Otago and gain a unique insight into the wine, the people and the stunning Central Otago landscape. An experience they will never forget. Many new relationships are established and renewed. This year we enjoyed hosting a lively group of influential wine professionals including some of the top sommeliers and fine wine consultants from Sweden, Germany, Sin...

August 8, 2011

Gerard Basset visits Grasshopper Rock

Considered by many as one of the world’s greatest authorities on wine, it was a great honour to have Gerard Basset visit and taste all vintages of Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir recently. Famous French-born UK sommelier Gerard Basset is the World’s Best Sommelier 2010, the most hotly contested sommelier title in the world and chairman of the Regional France panel for the Decanter World Wine Awards. Gerard is the only person in the world to hold all three qualifications, Master of Wine, Master...

July 25, 2011

Customer feedback better than Gold Medal

I love hearing customers rave about our Pinot. Gold Medals are great too but when wine is tasted with friends or with food it takes on a new meaning. Wine is to be drunk not tasted. I received this email feedback yesterday. Dear Phil, We have just ordered a case of your 2009 Pinot Noir which I hope is as good as your 2008. We bought 2 bottles of the 2008 when in Raglan a few weeks back. To say we were impressed would be an understatement , especially as we had a cousin and his wife staying with...

March 27, 2011

The “Great” NZ Pinot Classification list???

Mathew Juke (UK) and Tyson Stelzer (Aus) have published their Great NZ Pinot Noir Classification 2011. As I scan the list I am left wondering what this list is really all about. http://www.matthewjukes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/the-great-new-zealand-pinot-noir-classification-2011.pdf Based on “a rolling average rating of the five most recent vintages” the list is not supported by tasting notes/scores. Unfortunately for Juke and Stelzer the list has a number of wineries that really...

March 27, 2011

Wine Competition

The first wine competition we entered was the New Zealand Winegrowers’ Bragato Wine Awards 2007. Since then we have selectively entered other reputable NZ and international wine competitions. Has it been worthwhile and what do we think about wine competitions now that our wine have been subjected to the subjective views of a panel of “judges”? Yes, it has been an essential part of getting Grassopper Rock known to wine consumers and wine retailers. Wine awards help retailers s...

August 7, 2010 Posts 51-69 of 69 | Page prev
 

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