Winemaker’s Comment – Spring Newsletter 2009

The most important (and somewhat sad) news we have to share with you this release is that Caroline Box, our wonderful cellar door host, will be moving on. Caroline has done an outstanding job tirelessly running our cellar door, mail order programme, trade sales, assisting with vintage in the winery and a whole host of other important duties over the last seven years. I would remind you of the fact that her last day is about 4 weeks after this spring release so that allows sufficient notice and time for some of you to finally come clean with those offers for tropical holidays and all the other bribes that have been offered over the years when trying to increase your allocation of Block 3 & 5! Please join us in wishing her well on her overseas travel and future endeavours. It'll be interesting to know just how long she will remember off the top of her head your exact delivery address! They are big shoes to fill and we look forward to introducing the new Caroline to you in due course. (I am sure Caroline will pass on to her replacement exact detail of those generous with persuasive gifts!) 

We're very pleased to see how the 2008 Pinot Noirs are being received. Please see some of the great reviews later in the newsletter that the wines have attracted to date. In the past few years there appears to be a growing finesse and elegance to the wines while the vintage variation seems to be downplayed to the point where the "Feltonroadness" is becoming the predominant theme. That is not to say the vintages taste the same: rather each is a different facet of the same personality. Especially pleasing was the review from Huon Hooke and his attention to our Chardonnays. This is often the overlooked variety, and both the Chardonnay and the Block 2 have progressed significantly in the last couple of vintages. The 2009 Rieslings are as bright, zingy and fresh as ever with a little extra depth reflective of this excellent vintage; a precursor, we hope, to a similar trend in the Pinots and Chardonnays. Here's hoping for a great summer and lots of Riesling evenings. 

2009 has seen both Nigel and myself out in the markets as normal supporting our importers and distributors. Nigel was in Dubai, Sweden, Denmark and the UK in June, Brisbane in July and will be up to Hong Kong in November for a week. The month of June saw me visiting all of our smaller Asian markets. While it might sound like fun, two solid weeks of winemaker dinners every evening, along with tastings and events during the days (not to mention the lunches!) across seven different countries is a tiring schedule. July saw me parked up in some of Sydney and Melbourne's best restaurants for a week, while all of September was spent in the US and Canada. A highlight from that trip was an event at "Gordon Ramsay at The London" in Manhattan. The head Chef: Josh Emett, grew up on a nearby farm to me and our fathers are still in Lions Club together. Hmmmm, there's an idea for one interesting and well worth attending Lions Club fund raising degustation dinner - watch this space!


Blair Walter