Many of the estates and farms I have visited have been passed from generation to generation. However there are some enthusiastic people who have been attracted to an area for whatever reason mainly because of location and climate and have become hooked by the wine making bug!
Domain Road in the Vineyard
Domain Road Vineyard, Otago New Zealand, is owned by the Crosbie family who were originally drawn to the area as a quiet holiday destination not far from Queenstown. For over twenty years they have enjoyed family holidays in Bannockburn known for its hot summers and crisp clear autumn days and recently they have turned the desolate vineyard into a fun project and now a serious winery. Domain Road Vineyard is located in the heart of a historic gold mining area Central Otago on the South Island. The vineyard is in a sheltered sunny valley and is one of several vineyards in the desirable Bannockburn area. The continental type climate gives hot dry summers, long cool autumns and very cold winters ideal for growing Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Grahame and Lynne make great Central Otago Pinot Noir, but with the onset of spring I have chosen their vibrant and vivacious Sauvignon Blanc.
The Pask’s From Hawkes Bay
Kate and Russel
Another NZ Wine Maker Chris Pask was originally a commerical pilot. Having spent many days crop spraying over the Hawkes Bay region of North Island NZ he had plenty of time to ponder why no one had planted vines on the Gimblett gravels at Hawkes Bay. His curiosity led to the region’s first vines being planted and today the C J Pask winery is one of the region’s leading Estates. Today Wine maker Kate Radburne is at the helm of this vibrant environmentaly aware Estate which produces a wonderful array of award winning wines. Regular readers will already have heard about the C J Pask Omaha Road Sauvignon Blanc, but have you tried the Rose, Syrah or even the Declaration range of wines – stunning and hard to choose a favourite!
Now For The French
Hand selection at Ch Teussier
Château Teyssier was predominantly a farm in the 18th century until it was acquired by the historian Jules Roy in 1869, who constructed a beatiful chateau and planted the vineyards. By 1994 Château Teyssier was reduced to a neglected 5 hectare estate until Englishman Jonathan Maltus and his wife Lyn arrived. They modernised the winery and cellar, constructed a second winery and acquired additional plots in the region. Today Jonathan Maltus has become a cult Winemaker and now uses his skills all over the world in Australia and California I feel his cult wines are tremendous it takes much to beat the predominantly Merlot based Château Teyssier a stunning velvety Grand Cru Saint Émilion.
From North Africa to France
Five generations of wine growers and two continents are the symbols of the history of the Ryckwaert family. Born into a family of wine growers who settled in North Africa, they moved to the south of France at the end of the fifties. Finally settling in the Rhône valley during the sixties, which allowed the family to return to its traditional roots, viticulture! They purchased a wooded piece of land situated in the foothills of Uchauxa region of the Côtes du Rhône. This allowed them to plant a vineyard. The first harvest took place in 1978 and they were relived to see that the exceptional quality of the soil was as they had expected giving stunning wines from this virgin soil. Today Marc and his son are creating award winning wines made with generations of expertise.
Is Wine Making a Dormant Passion?
Wine making might be in the blood for generations or just a passion, lying dormant waiting for the opportunity to allow it to blossom. The draw made by vineyards located in some of the most idyllic areas of the world can bring many people to the art of wine making. For some it is purely a moneymaking (or loosing!) business, for others it is a passion from the heart. Whichever it always shows in the win