Hi, thanks for joining me at the, my first AMA!
It is either great luck, or great planning from Laura that this comes literally 36 hours before I fly to Auckland for my annual buying trip.
The irony does not escape me that I am leaving a glorious British summer, where everyone is (or should be) drinking oodles of kiwi sauvignon, to land in the middle of a kiwi winter to blend the sauvignons that we will enjoy next summer here….
However that is the time scale of southern hemisphere winemaking. The grapes were picked in their autumn – Feb-April, and for the last two months have been going through the process of fermentation, and then settling (often on the lees). In early July winemakers start to look at the various tanks and batches of white wine, and begin blending trials, or move some wines – such as the pinots to barrel for further aging.
This is when I fly in…
It means that I can taste the embryonic sauvignons and work with some of our winemakers on bespoke blends. (Blending one sauvignon tank with another - perhaps picked on different days, or form different parts of the vineyards etc.)
I can also see our long term suppliers and discuss the vintage, and taste their blends so that I can set them up for sale as quickly as possible (I love sauvignon at its freshest).
After nearly a week and 30 visits in Marlborough I often head to another New Zealand sub region to catch up, but this year, with a quick stop at Kumeu – handily located near the airport in Auckland – I fly straight onto Australia for 2 weeks mainly focused on red wines in and around Melbourne and Adelaide…!”
I’ll start answering your advance questions now - looking forward to chatting with you!