Nigel's thoughts....


Seriously cold here, minus 2 and that might be the high today. There was a hint of sun and snow-capped peaks through the mist earlier, but it has settled down now to foggy frost. Not an ideal day to be digging winter leeks, but it seemed that a Cock-a-leekie was required to get everybody through the afternoon.

Last week our new calves arrived. Just stupidly cute looking, we put them into our compound on the edge of the hills for their first night, before introducing them to Sid and Crystal the next day. I turned up with Hamish to shoot a few rabbits the next morning and they'd gone. I found them up in the hills with the other cattle, all happily munching away. A quick check with Gareth and Danny revealed that none of us had let them out, so that means they can jump a metre high gate without batting an eyelid (actually their eyelids are so beguiling with huge lashes, they probably do bat from the impact of landing!). Anyway they are all happy and settled, which is good, as we plan to knock Sid over in about a week's time.

None of this has much to do with wine, but it's winter and the wine and vines are all deep asleep. Skiing has opened at Coronet Peak, and at the other resorts it will start in a week's time. So we are getting the kit out, sharpening edges and watching the deepening snows with anticipation. Yesterday I was walking along lake Wanaka to the sound of big avalanches being blown in the Harris Mountains, getting ready for the arrival of the first skiers.

Pruning is sneaking along, just glad I'm not the one out there doing it!