Take shelter from the rain
In the words of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The best thing one can do when it's raining - is to let it rain”. What else can you do?2012 has been a vintage of raincoats and challenges. The good news is ... nothing stops us at Wrights Vineyard from facing off the weather.
Time to focus on the fruits of the new vintage with sparkling clean tanks and an empty winery.
The rising costs of everything, has seen our first price increase in 3 years. To keep absorbing these costs would see Nicola with more gray hair than Geoff!
It's not just us that says this wine is good. Yvonne Lorkin recently reviewed this wine for us:
“Made entirely from chardonnay, this is an organically produced Blanc de Blanc from Gisborne’s Ormond Valley, and if you’re expecting something frilly and feminine – forget it. This fizz reflects the ‘chaos factor’ of family life for Geoff and Nicola Wright as they work hard to maintain their organic vineyards, their busy winery and three energetic young sons. The wine has complex yeasty, nutty, biscuit-based aromas followed by crisp acidity and a smoky, mineral note on the finish. It is also New Zealand’s only certified organic méthode on the market and it’s brilliant with grilled calamari sprinkled with lemon juice and fresh herbs.”
In the early hours of the morning on the day before the first pick of grapes for the Methode Traditionnelle, we are beavering about at 5.30am. With our mad professor hats on we are brewing up a fantastic load of biodynamic preparation 501. This is a great drop, to be applied at sunrise. Although the clouds did block the initial rays of sun, we got there in the end.
Preparation 501 (ground quartz crystal, amongst other goodies), increases the photosynthesis on the leaf canopy, toughens up the grapes skins, brings longevity to our wines in the bottle and increases the sugar levels of the grapes on the vine. An important spray for us, coming into harvest.
Geoff sticks those toothpicks between the eyelids to stay awake, beaming widely – vintage is here. The bird bangers are cracking through the air, he finally found the bird kites that keep flying off the poles. Time to reap the rewards of what 2011/2012 has brought us.
With the vintage later than normal, the cooler temperatures have seen an early increased leaf drop. Luckily Geoff only did one leaf pluck of the grapes, giving the grapes more leaf so to help the plant have more energy to carry through the extended vintage. The cooling evening and morning temperatures and dropping leaves remind us Mother Nature has brought autumn to bare on the valley.
Although a wetter vintage than normal, there have not been botrytis conditions, so we are facing off the storms with a clean crop. The bunches are nice and open and we have even levels of ripeness. Geoff is very excited with the open bunches, cleanness of the grapes and now reduced leaf cover around the berries due to an early autumn. We have some exciting winemaking initiatives planned for the 2012 vintage wines.
Currently, we are being filmed by Emma Heke of OURS. Emma is making a documentary and television series to inspire young and old minds alike to think outside the square, step into the wilderness and try something new. Emma has been on the road with her 7 year old son, Connor, for almost 6 months gathering stories of those who have escaped the rat race and paved their own way. Check out her website at : www.oursdvd.co.nz.
This week has been a rollercoaster ride. In the last 5 days, we have bottled the 2012 Verjuice – yes, it is now ready for sale to wow your friends and family, also our Reserve Chardonnay 2011 (sad to say the 2010 is almost sold out). We have also bottled the Vintage Methode 2011 (to be released in another 3-4 years) and disgorged more of the Entity Methode 2010.
Geoff, Nicola, Noah, Elijah & Luke Wright
Finally …. the wait is over!
Yes, the rumours are true. The much awaited wines from Wrights Vineyard & Winery are due for release in August! We are now offering our subscribers the first chance to purchase our wines. As we are now accepting orders for our Sauvignon Blanc (fully certified organic), Gewurztraminer (conversion organic) and Methode Traditionnelle (conventionally grown). You can place your order right now through our web site www.wrightsvineyard.co.nz., or email it through to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the first 3 orders of 6 bottles or more, we are giving away a free 500ml bottle of olive oil. The oil is a stunning colour, with intense flavours, reflecting the mix of olives included in the blend. We lovingly hand-picked the olives for this oil from a spray free orchard in April. We are excited to be able to make this offer to our customers and will have the oil available for tasting at our future wine events. We hope to be able to provide you with our own organic olive oil in the near future.
Wrights Vineyard & Winery has also been undergoing rebranding. With Glen Mossong (The Reformation, Raglan) working with us on a new logo and wine labels. We are very excited with the new labels. We are also creating a new web page, which we hope to have completed in early August. Some of the features will be RSS feeds, allowing clients to post their own comments and DPS payment for wines. We will keep you posted on this.
For the lovers of our Chardonnay and Merlot the wait will soon be over. We are planning to release these wines later this year.
The new release wines can best be described as fantastic!
Wrights Sauvignon Blanc is a zesty, intense, off-dry style. Late harvest semillon has been blended into this wine, enhancing its depth and weight of flavour. Traditional flavours of blackcurrant and passionfruit, with a twist of feijoa.
A wine of distinction best describes Wrights Gewurztraminer. This unique, dry style wine is rich and complex. Flavours reminiscent of marmalade, turkish delight, with a hint of rose petal and soft spice. Crafted from a blend of fully certified and conversion organic grapes.
Wrights Entity is bottle aged on yeast lees. This elegant wine has a crisp palate, fine bead and creamy textured finish, with lifted citrus and floral aromatic notes. The wine label includes a beautiful artwork by Teressa Matthews, which captures the seed of life and the energy that it creates.
The 2009 vintage at Wrights Vineyard was busy. The bottling of the first wines from our organic vineyard was a milestone. The pruning of our vineyard is well underway and we, along with our merry band of workers, look forward to the laying down of the last cane.
One acre of our new vineyard is currently unplanted. This has presented us with an exciting opportunity to add to our range of bubbly wines. We are planning to plant Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir in the Spring. Pinot Meunier is a little known grape in New Zealand, but is one that adds complexity and depth to a Methode Traditionnelle base. These grapes, along with the established chardonnay plants on our new block, will see us put the riddling racks and disgorging equipment that we have purchased put to good use.
In August, we will be attending the Eco-Fest in Nelson for the first time, as part of the launch of our new wines. For more information on this event, check it out on www.ecofestnelsontasman.co.nz. This is a fantastic event, sponsored by the Tasman District Council to showcase the ethically made, environmentally friendly products that we have in New Zealand. We are proud to be part of this event. It would also be a great opportunity to catch up with our existing customers in the region.
We are also planning roadtrips to other parts of New Zealand to get the “Wright” wine out there. We will keep you up to date with tastings planned in your area through our web page and hope to catch up with you to introduce you to our new, premium, boutique wines.
We trust that this email finds you safe, well and warm in the depths of the New Zealand Winter.
Geoff, Nicola & Noah Wright
Wrights Vineyard & Winery
Frostbite and Festivals
Spring has sprung in Gisborne, with the vineyard bursting with life and the weather keeping us on our toes, with plenty of surprises.We are excited to announce that the Wrights Merlot Syrah (certified organic) and Wrights Chardonnay 2009 (organically grown) are now bottled, labeled, packaged and ready for you to enjoy. You can order these wines online at Wrights Vineyard & Winery Online Orders. You can also order by contacting us on E: email@example.com P: (06) 868 0967 and F: (06) 868 0966.
The Wrights Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (certified organic), Wrights Gewurztraminer 2009 (grown organically) and Wrights Entity Methode Traditionnelle 2008 can also still be purchased online. These wines were also recently reviewed by renowned wine writer Peter Saunders, with the Methode Traditionnelle being selected as one of his wine picks for the month of September – very exciting. You can read these reviews online at www.wrightsvineyard.co.nz.
To celebrate the release of all of our 2009 wines and to give you a chance to try the wines of your desire, you can purchase any 3 of our wines for $60, delivered freight free to your door anywhere in New Zealand. We are also now offering a 7% discount on any case purchases, or 12 or more bottles, excluding the 3 for $60 deal. We are happy to mix up case orders in any way that you would like.
Congratulations to Lisa Graham, the lucky winner of two tickets to the Gisborne Wine & Food festival (Labour Weekend – 25 October).
The weather gods have kept us busy with a challenging range of weather patterns. We have survived our first big frost of the growing season. Geoff has taken great delight in reigniting his skills as an arsonist, lighting fires and driving a heat dragon through the vineyard to keep Jack Frost at bay. We have also welcomed a few large deluges of rain. Great to test how waterproof your gumboots really are. Now we bask in the sunshine that we have come to expect on the East Coast. Not quite bikini weather, but close.
The wet weather has brought with it plenty of slugs. We have again had to don our mad professor hats and work out ways to remove these unwelcome visitors, at the same time maintaining the life balance of the vineyard.
The new vineyard that we took over earlier this years continues to flourish, with much promise of beautiful chardonnay, gewurztraminer and viognier grapes for the next vintage. We have been busy sourcing larger volume tanks to accommodate anticipated harvest. Recently, sourcing three 5,000 litre tanks, a 1,300 and 1,800 litre tank.
The pinot noir and pinot meunier vines we planted out last month are pushing hard and will allow us to produce a variety of organic bubbly styles over the next few years.
Apart from the work on the vineyard, we have hit the road and attended the EcoFest in Nelson (August) and the Vegetarian Expo in Christchurch (September). It was great to meet a number of our customers. We have also increased the number of stores stocking our wines. Check it out online at www.wrightsvineyard.co.nz.
We also have a busy month of festivities in October with the Gisborne A & P show (16-17 October) and Gisborne Wine & Food Festival (25 October). We are also in the throes of planning to attend the Organic River Festival in Levin (27-29 January 2010).
Last year we were interviewed for the American programme Roadtrip Nation. Roadtrip Nation is produced by a film company that gives young people a chance to hit the road and interview people living their dream. A number of unique, inventive New Zealanders were interviewed for this programme. An opportunity to be inspired! This programme is due to be released on 16 October 2009 and can be viewed online at Video Clip - Geoff & Nicola Wright Interview - Roadtrip Nation, Episode 2.
We trust that this email finds you and your family safe and well and glad to be alive in the wake of the recent natural disasters around the world.
Geoff, Nicola & Noah Wright
Crazy Season and The Wright Wine
Spring has sprung in Gisborne, with the vineyard bursting with life and the weather keeping us on our toes, with plenty of surprises. What better way to celebrate the festive season and see in the New Year than with the Wright wine. Imagine the delight on your guests faces, as you delve into the fridge and emerge with bottle of wine from the first place to see the sun. Experience the warmth of Gisborne from your own home.
Be in quick if you are keen to replenish your supply of Wrights Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (certified organic). We literally only have 4 cases left. First in, first served.We also have available the other lovely wines in our range, Wrights Merlot Syrah 2009 (certified organic), Wrights Chardonnay 2009 (organically grown), Wrights Gewurztraminer 2009 (organically grown) and Wrights Entity Methode Traditionnelle 2008. We now offer a 7% discount on case orders. We are happy to mix the case to order. You can order our wines online at www.wrightsvineyard.co.nz. You can also order by contacting us on E: firstname.lastname@example.org, P: (06) 868 0967 and F (06) 868 0966.
We are offering a special Christmas deal of four 4 four. Purchase any four of our lovely wines and we will give you four wine glasses, printed with our logo, free. These glasses are used for tasting and judging wines. They are shaped slightly inwards at the top to help capture the aroma of the wine, ensuring that when you smell the wine you fully appreciate it. We only have limited stocks of these glasses. The perfect gift for someone who has everything and better than a pair of socks or set of tea towels for Mum and Dad. You are also welcome to purchase 6 printed wine glasses for $36.
The threat of frosts continued well into October this year, keeping the blood pressure up and us on full alert. November has brought with it a mixed bag of weather so far. In the last week, it appears that the renowned Gisborne summer has finally arrived. The wetter than average Spring has produced phenomenal growth, as we look forward to another bumper vintage.
Last week we bottled our 2009 Entity Methode Traditonnelle. This wine is now tucked away to be bottle aged for at least a year, before it will be ready to hit the market and tickle your tastebuds. We have bottled some of the 2009 Entity in magnums, so we can provide you with something extra for those special occasions.
We have also just bottled another Methode Traditionnelle. This wine is from the 'First Pick' of the 2009 vintage and, even more significantly, the first pick off our Terrace vineyard. We selected and hand-picked the finest examples of the grape varieties from our Terrace vineyard. These grapes were co-fermented to make a very special wine. The base wine for this Methode Traditionnelle is showing characteristics of chocolate mint. To reflect how special this wine truly is, we have bottled the entire batch into magnums.
We survived OctoberFest, the month of festivals and events here in Gisborne and throughout the country. It was great to renew our involvement with the Gisborne A & P show and the classic Gisborne Wine & Food festival. A great chance to catch up with customers, showcase our wines and have some fun. Congratulations to Stephan Brady the winner of a six pack of our lovely wines.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to meet Kevin Lynch and Amber Share, wine writers from the United States. They are travelling around NZ for a year. Kevin and Amber did a great article on Biodynamic Vineyard Management, featuring some of our work to date. They also include some fantastic photographs of our vineyard and a five minute interview clip, where we discuss our biodynamic management techniques. Check it out on Video Clip & Biodynamic Vineyard Management Article - Native Food and Wine.
Last year we were interviewed for the American programme Roadtrip Nation. Roadtrip Nation is produced by a film company that gives young people a chance to hit the road and interview people living their dream. A number of unique, inventive New Zealanders were interviewed for this programme. An opportunity to be inspired! This programme has been released and can be viewed online at Video Clip - Geoff & Nicola Wright Interview - Roadtrip Nation, Episode 2.
We have been busy securing new outlets around the country. Check out our current outlets online at www.wrightsvineyard.co.nz. Geoff will be in Auckland between 3 and 5 December and will be conducting tastings at Herne Bay Cellars, Jervois Road, Herne Bay, (4.30 to 7pm, Thursday, 3 December 2009), Mairangi Bay Fine Wines, 358a Beach Road, Mairangi Bay, (4.30 to 7pm, Friday, 4 December 2009) and Ceres Organics, 181 Ladies Mile, Ellerslie, (12pm to 2pm, Friday, 4 December 2009). A great chance to taste our 2009 wines and to catch up. We look forward to seeing as many of our Auckland customers as possible.
That is pretty much all our news for now, all that is left to be done is to wish you a safe, bubbly and happy Christmas and New Year.
Kind regards – Geoff, Nicola & Noah Wright
Wrights Vineyard & Winery
Gumboots, Plants & Wine
The 2010 vintage is nearly upon us and there is a spring in Geoff's step as he dons his gumboots each morning. This will be Wrights Vineyard largest crop yet, with both the Terrace and the Valley vineyards flourishing.We now added three 5,500 litre tanks to our winery, preparing for the first grapes of the vintage. The driveway is graveled ready for the bottling truck and Geoff is buzzing around the place, making preparations for the harvest.
We still have some of our lovely 2009 wines available and are running a special this month (January 2010). Buy any 5 bottles of wine or more and we will give you a free bottle of our lovely Wrights Chardonnay 2009. With the history behind this fine wine from the Gisborne area, who can resist such an offer! Order now online at www.wrightswines.co.nz. We also have plaited garlic still available, if you were wanting some just drop us an email for prices etc... email@example.com.
We are in for the long haul this vintage, with plans to make (amongst others) verjus, methode traditionnelle and possibly a late harvest dessert wine. Verjus (pronounced Vehr-zhoo) will be an exciting addition to our product range. Verjus is a french term for “green juice”. It is an unfermented juice made from underripe wine grapes.
The grapes for the verjus will be the first harvested for the vintage and are likely to be picked at around 13 brix. These grapes will have high acidity and reduced sugar. Verjus is a fantastic addition to anyone's kitchen. It has numerous uses, such as in salad dressings, as a vinegar replacement or even as a fresh, zesty spritzer to drink. We are very excited to be introducing our own verjus to customers. We hope to have it on sale in time for Easter bunny to collect a few samples.
In 1921, Frederick Wohnseidler planted the first commercial crop of grapes in the Ormond area of Gisborne. For the next 30 years, 3 local families dominated the Gisborne wine industry (the Wohnseidler, Chitty and Zame Families). The industry has expanded since with a number of boutique wineries emerging out of the region. Our vineyards are located in Ormond. It is very exciting to be part of this history.
Gisborne is continuing to gain acclaim for its ability to produce outstanding aromatic wines, such as gewurztraminer, viognier and chardonnay. Some of customers have been asking, what flavours are normally associated with these varieties of wines. We have done some research and come up with the following:
Viognier (pronounced Vee-on-yay) is associated with apricots, crème, pineapple, lychees, pear, jasmine, autumn and springtime fragrance. Normally full bodied, coated with richness, and good viscous. The viognier grape has it birthplace in Dalmatia, being planted by the Romans 2000 years ago. Gewurztraminer is an aromatic grape variety. It has a flamboyant bouquet of lychees, rose petal, turkish delight. It is associated with spicy, complex and rich mouth filling wines. Gisborne is producing some of New Zealand's best examples of this wine. The gewurztraminer grape began in Italy's Tyrollean Alps, near the village of Termeno (Tramin) in Alto Adige. This area was widely used to grow the traminer vines. However, these vines have a propensity to mutate.
A few centries ago, one of these mutations resulted in a vine that produced dark pinkish-brown, spotted berries. In the late 19th century, the Italians began calling this vine gewurztraminer. It was not until 1973 that this name was officially sanctioned. Wine texts often report that "gewürz" translates from German as "spicy", but considering the list of various synonyms, the more likely contextual meaning is "perfumed".
Chardonnay - over the last 20 years or so, Gisborne has gained the reputation of producing New Zealand's best chardonnay. Gisborne has become so dominant in producing quality chardonnay that it is referred to as the chardonnay capital.
Gisborne chardonnays are typically soft, lush and charming with ripe peach, melon and pineapple flavours. Gisborne can also produce Chabli styles, which are flinty and fresh. Chardonnay wines are often associated with notes of apple, lemon, peach or tropical fruits
The Chardonnay grape is believed to have originated in the Burgundy wine region of Eastern France. Chardonnay is one of the most widely planted grape varieties in the world, with over 400,000 acres planted worldwide.
In 2010, we will be producing two different chardonnay wine styles. The unoaked style, resembling a chabli and a oaked style, which will be rich, creamy, buttery and full bodied.
We have been busy extending our outlets over the Christmas/New Year period and we are excited to advise customers that our wines are now available at Commonsense Organics Kilbirnie (Wellington), Kingsland Liquor (Auckland), The Wine Vault (Auckland), Hauraki Corner Cellars (Auckland), Bushmere Arms (Gisborne) and Kaiwaka Cheese Shop (Northland).
Our wines will also be available for our customers to enjoy at the Organic River Festival in Levin this weekend (29-31 January 2010). We hope to catch up with as many of our customers there as possible. While attending the festival, we will also be conducting a tasting at Commonsense Organics Kilbirnie between 11.00am and 1.00pm on Saturday, 30 January 2010.
We trust you made it through the silly season, made plenty of resolutions to stick to (or to break) and enter 2010 feeling energised to face the challenges of the new decade.
Geoff, Nicola, Noah & Elijah Wright
Wrights Vineyard & Winery
Vintage, Verjuice & Vinophiles
The 2010 vintage is nearly upon us and there is a spring in Geoff's step as he dons his gumboots each morning. This will be Wrights Vineyard largest crop yet, with both the Terrace and the Valley vineyards flourishing.Well vintage is well and truely upon us. Despite challenging weather conditions early on, picking is well underway and we are looking forward to turning our beautiful fruit into fantastic wines.
Wrights verjuice is now bottled, labelled and ready to excite your taste buds. This is the first release of the 2010 vintage.
It is exciting to be able to offer our customers an opportunity to wow their dinner guests over the coming autumn and winter months.
One of the main advantages of using Wrights Verjuice in cooking is that it shares the same acid-base as wine and is, therefore, the natural alternative to lemon juice and vinegar when quality wines are served with a meal. Verjuice cleanses the palate and opens the taste-buds (just like a glass of bubbly would do) and so, prepares the mouth for the delicious flavours of the food. Lemon juice and vinegar, which contain citric and acetic acid, close up the taste buds, and consequently, inhibit the flavours you will experience in the wine that accompanies your meal.
Wrights Verjuice has so many uses, it is crazy. To name a few:
As a cordial & aperitif
Instead of vinegar or lemon juice in salad dressings;
Instead of white wine or brandy when deglazing pans;
Poaching fresh fruit or reconstituting dried fruit;
Cutting the richness of sauces
Instead of balsamic vinegar when caramelising onions;
Heavily reduced as a topping for ice cream;
In the preparation of mustards.
Splash into stir-fries.
In pestos and salsas.
Reduce to create sweet syrups, stronger stocks and pickling juices.
To preserve tropical fruit, eg., mangoes, litchies, etc.
In vinaigrettes blended with olive, walnut, hazelnut, sesame and pumpkin seed oils.
Fruit Smoothies and Baked Custards.
It would be great to receive any verjuice recipes that you have hidden in the back of your favourite cookbook. To get your taste buds going, I have included one of my favourites - the millionaire's dressing (I have also included the average kiwi version to keep it real!)
Millionaire's Dressing for Salads & Vegetables
75ml Walnut oil
75ml Olive oil
1 t Dijon mustard
2 crushed garlic cloves (or to taste)
Black Pepper & Sea Salt to taste
Shake together all ingredients or blend with hand blender for a thicker, creamier emulsion.
Average Kiwi Variations: For a cost-effective dressing, substitute the walnut oil for more olive oil; add your favourite herbs, eg. parsley, chives, oregano, basil, etc. ; replace smooth Dijon mustard with coarse-grain Dijon mustard for potato salads
Our winery is up and humming with our 5,000 litre tanks safely installed onsite. We now have a roof to our open air winery, made by the Canopy & Squab Shop in Auckland (a small plug for Geoff's brother's business).
The grapes to make the Methode Traditionnelle are all picked and happily fermenting away. We have picked half of our Gewurztraminer and will pick the balance this coming week. We soaked the gewurztraminer juice on skins overnight to create added depth and boost the flavour profile of this wine.
This vintage we are making the most of our chardonnay crop that we have on our new Valley Vineyard, along with the bubbly we will also be making two other chardonnays. An oaked style and a premium chardonnay (or as the winemaker calls it "the big kahuna").
For those of you anxiously awaiting the release of our sauvignon blanc, following the mad sell out of our 2009 vintage, do not fear. The grapes are looking good and we hope to have this wine on the market by August/September at the latest.
We made the most of the brief reprieve between getting up the nets and the start of vintage madness and made a made bee-line for the central North Island. We now have good distribution in the middle of the North Island. Check out our online web tab 'Outlets'.
We trust that you are into the swing of 2010 and look forward to bringing more lovely organic wines to your table.
Geoff, Nicola, Noah & Elijah Wright
No Rest for the Wicked!
Wow October has been a busy month for us. Geoffs twitchy eye has now gone away. But now has tendonitis in his wrist – great! With 7000 bottles of our 2010 Entity Methode Traditionnelle to be bottled manually this week, makes life interesting. This wine is to be innoculated with yeast and sugar so the secondary fermentation can occur in the bottle. The wine is then stored for a minimum of 1 year in the bottle prior to being disgorged and released to the market. In France they call this Champagne.
We have now released our 2009 Entity Methode Traditonnelle, a very exciting wine for us. I have attached a picture of a bottle so you can view our new label. We have sold out of our 2008 Entity Methode, it is sad to say goodbye, but exciting to release the 2009 Entity. Very similar to our 2008, just slightly sweeter. All our wines are tasting great at present, don't take my word – try them and find out yourself. Our wines can be purchased from our Outlets as per our web page or direct from us at http://www.wrightswines.co.nz
We are very proud of our innovative winemaking styles. We go to great lengths to ensure we make exciting wines ethically. We believe the way we run our vineyards, where we promote all life forces from the soil to the plant, flows through into our wines. I like to refer to them as 'alive'. The flavours they release on our taste buds, is exquisite.
Our vineyards never experience herbicides, systemic fungicides or insecticides. In fact we love the chaos that nature brings to our vineyard. This chaos factor takes a while to get used to/understand. Natures way of growing is not conventionally neat or tidy. When I go walking through our vineyards what do I see – flowers, insects, all types of bugs, the glitter of lady birds, the weirdest looking grass hoppers, hundreds of hover flies flying over head, bees, wasps – its practically buzzing with life. I also see my two beautiful boys playing in the vineyard, chewing on the fruiting wires, walking underneath the plants, eating the grass and soil. For us the way we manage our vineyards is quite natural. We categorise our approach as organic (certified organic – Asure Quality) and biodynamic.
We also use minimal chemicals in the winery, to ensure the wines are varietal expressive styles and represent the terroir of our vineyards. This is where our low allergen certification (NZ Vegetarian Certification) ensures that we are kept honest.
Enough from me. I thought that over the next month I would get some wine writers to review our 2010 vintage wines. Over the next few weeks as they come in, I will be sending these out to you to read – unedited reviews. Here is one such review of our Wrights Rose 2010 from Rebecca Taylor, Wineseeker, 86-96 Victoria Street, Wellington.
“I've been on the lookout for interesting Roses for summer, and this certainly qualifies! Made from Merlot and Syrah, there's good depth of colour and weight. Oak maturation makes itself apparent with aromas of chocolate, coconut and cedary spice sitting above the cherry and strawberry fruit. The palate is dry and spicy, making this a Rose that will take you all the way through the barbecue, even once the sun goes down! “
This above wine can be purchased from most of our outlets or direct from us.
Geoff, Nicola, Noah & Elijah Wright
Cooking up a Storm!
The vintage is well underway in Gisborne. Fortunately, due to good vineyard management and a little luck, we have timed our grape picking in between the patches of wet weather. We still have some Chardonnay, Viognier and Gewurztraminer hanging out on the vines.
Grape harvest started early for us on Valentine's Day, with the harvest of the Wrights Chardonnay Verjuice 2011. The Verjuice is already bottled and awaiting labels and will hit the market shortly. The new release Verjuice, due to customer demand, is in 750ml bottles. Great as a non-alcoholic spritzer, lemon or vinegar replacement or cocktail mixer!
We recently made a fabulous refreshing sorbet with the verjuice. This recipe is to be featured with celebrity chef and food editor Allyson Gofton's new Country Calendar cookbook, due for release in August 2011. Recipe as follows:
500ml Wrights Verjuice
150g castor sugar
Grated zest of one lemon.
Bring to boil, simmer for 6 minutes. Allow to cool and freeze overnight. Yum!
For those with a sweeter tooth. The lemon can be replaced with mandarin or orange.
Domestic goddess status awaits.
It has been a crazy month for us – aren't they all. Last week the filming of our programme on country calendar was completed. We are very excited to have this opportunity to showcase our vineyard and winery to the nation – let's hope we don;t come across as too crazy.
This week we were fortunate enough to have Allyson Gofton and her team visit our vineyard to cook up a storm in our kitchen for her upcoming cookbook. Luckily, Allyson is used to studio kitchen's, as we were cooking in our 9 metre by 3 metre port-a-com (rent a shack), which we have onsite while building our strawbale home. It is amazing what you can make do with and that you can fit 2 kids, 4 goldfish and 2 adults inside. Geoff is also hoping to add a kitten to the mix shortly – let chaos reign!
Allyson particular enjoyed the company of her sous chefs – Noah (3 ½ years' old) and Elijah (16 months'). Although Elijah and Noah seemed to be drawn in more by the puddles and mud around the vineyard – than the kitchen.
For the first time we had our cellar door open this summer. It has been a busy time with limousines, bike tours, 50 seater tour buses, wine tours and the general public. It has been a great opportunity to showcase our wines and show people our vineyard and winery. People seemed to have enjoyed the use of kiwi ingenuity, which is strongly present in our winery. Shipping containers converted into tank and barrel rooms. Converted beer tanks as wine tanks. The cellar door visitors have also been a great hit with Noah, who has kidnapped many showed them his swing, our housesite and dirt piles – all of which hold great fascination for a 3 ½ year old. We have also incorporated tastings of our verjuice spritzers, dukkah and olive oil, which has been very well received. We continue to operate our cellar door at the weekends, 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
Currently, we have most of our stunning wine range available: Wrights Methode Traditionnelle 2009, Wrights Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010, Wrights Chardonnay 2010, Wrights Reserve Chardonnay 2010, Wrights Viognier 2010, Wrights Gewurtraminer 2010 and Wrights Rose (Merlot/Syrah) 2010. Our Wrights Methode Traditionnelle 2009 is in short supply and our Wrights Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010 is going out like hot cakes. Be in quick!
Orders for our wines can be placed online, with no freight charge, delivered straight to your door anywhere in New Zealand. We also list our outlets around the country on our web page www.wrightswines.co.nz
To date, the harvest has yielded some lovely ripe Gewurztraminer. Again, we have achieved overnight skin contact om the press and look forward to another distinctive, varietal wine. We have left some of the Gewurztraminer hanging out to gain some even riper grapes and encourage botrytis. Best to make the most of nature's challenges when they present themselves, rather than stressing about the rain. The wet, warm northerlies forecast by the weather gurus should favour this wine style – very exciting.
Once again, we are blown away by the cleanliness of the grapes in our vineyards. Organics and biodynamics and working with nature is really working well, producing high quality grapes, which can only mean high quality, pure wines on your table.
We will keep you posted with the exciting wine styles we are making this year.
In the meantime, take care and we may see you over the year around the country, as we plan to show the kids New Zealand and visit as many wine clubs and our wine retailers as possible.
When I first started Wrights Vineyard & Winery in 2000, I only had 1 store in Gisborne. It seems funny now that my thinking at the time was to give that store exclusivity. Now 11 years on, our distribution across New Zealand is over 100 outlets and growing monthly.
We have just recently made the decision to offer our wines to more customers by selling our wines at some New World supermarkets, another change for us. I don't know if you know, but over 80% of all wines are purchased at supermarkets in NZ. There is also another crazy statistic that over 90% of wines purchased are consumed within 40 minutes of purchase.
At the end of this newsletter, I have included a list of our new outlets. If you are in that area, why not try our wines. We offer quality, unique wine styles, innovative winemaking techniques, wines with a philosophy and a family behind them. We stand proud and look after the land we live on. For a more comprehensive list, check out our web page, under the 'Outlets' tab.
Some more exciting news, we have now harvested all our grapes, with our Viognier and Chardonnay just coming in last weekend. Vintage was a marathon for us this year, lasting over 3 months. Once again, the grapes came in at excellent condition with ripe tantalising flavours already flow from the juice.
A little insight into some of our winemaking techniques this vintage:
Wrights Gewurztraminer 2011
The 2011 Gewurztraminer, is from two picks. The first pick was harvested at 23 brix and did not finish until 8pm. Very clean and even ripeness through the bunches. The second pick was 3 weeks later, with 50% of the pick coming in as botrytised grapes – just as we had hoped. Both picks had over 15 hours of skin contact in the press. Two different types of ferments the first pick was cool fermented in tanks, the second warm fermentation in barrels. Both wines are already showing unique characters and again reflect our committment to interesting, innovative and intensely aromatic gewurztraminer wines. Our 2010 Gewurztraminer is tasting fantastic, one of my favourites, available directly from us, or from one of our many outlets.
Wrights Vintage Methode 2011
Once again, we have decided to make our 'Vintage Methode Traditionnelle' a unique wine style in the New Zealand market. Our first 'Vintage Mthode Traditionnelle' is from the 2009 vintage and is yet to be released – release date end of 2011 only available in Magnums, limited supply. When I last tasted this wine, it was showing some distinctive chocolate and mint flavours. This wine is barrel fermented and aged in bottle on yeast lees for two years. A total of 3 years from harvest before it is ready to drink. We will let you know closer to the time when this wine is available. The concept behind this wine is that we select a mix of our grapes from the vintage, and co ferment the juice. The style reflects the intricacies and flavours of the vintage, all captured in one bottle.
Talking about Methodes, our Entity Methode Traditionnelle 2009 is already sold out. The last few cases are for our restaurant customers to ensure constant stock flow. We do apologise for this. Our next release for the 2010 Entity Methode Traditionnelle will be October 2011. Also certified organic – At last!
The great wine reviews, word of mouth and sales trips to Hawkes Bay, Auckland and Wellington during vintage must be working! Just adding to the mix of vintage madness. Fortunately, our boys enjoyed the harvest and people they met.
We look forward to bringing the 2011 vintage wines to your tables to be enjoyed with friends and family.
Geoff, Nicola, Noah & Elijah Wright
The Joys of Building a Straw Bale Home
We thought we would share with you some of our stories about building our straw bale home, which has now been going for 9 months.
We first started this project with turning the soil over just before xmas 2010. At the same time we sold our house in town and moved in to our rental Highlander Cabin (9 by 2.5 metres) – aka The Rent A Shack – 2 kids, 1 cat (Chardonnay Potammus) and 3 goldfish.
The concrete pad was poured on my birthday, late January. Man I was excited about this. The concrete was being pumped on by a concrete pump, reaching 30 metres into the air. The trucks started coming at 7.30am, truck after truck. Then I saw the contractor shake his head at me and they started lifting the mesh off the floor, using spades to spread out concrete. Meanwhile truck after truck was coming. Challenge number 1 – the polystyerene was lifting at the edges from the pressure of the concrete. Outcome – the concrete contractor downed tools, until the builder had fixed this up. Take 2 – another week later with extra concrete and hireage costs!!!
Challenge number 2 – the builder goes missing for 3 months. Outcome – all scheduled time frames are missed and no roof on.
Finally, roof framing up and roof goes on well. Challenge 3 - 40 metre truck and trailer getting stuck on site. Plus our truck and trailer delivering 550 bales. Luckily, the trusty 40 horse power tractor pulls the truck out. Two small, very excited boys look on from the Rent A Shack.
I almost missed challenge 1 ½ – the concrete contractor ran out of sealer half way through finishing off our floor. Additional sealer took 2 weeks to arrive, due to the Christchurch quake. Outcome – line of different colours running through the finished floor of our lounge.
Oh my gosh, talking about floor, it was my turn to contribute to the challenges big time! Challenge number 3 - painting mulseal on the floor where the strawbales are stacked, being extra careful not to spill any on the floor, I managed to use the wrong end of the metre stick I had marked, painting out to 550mls instead of 450mls. Outcome – 100mls of mulseal (a tar like substance) on our finished floor. Man I still get angry at myself for this one – best not to mention it.
All in all, we are looking forward to the completion of our straw bale home – definitely before xmas this year.
Now I know what people mean by building being a nightmare! We have another builder now, are making good progress, and look forward to starting the meshing of the straw bales this week.
Onto other important matters - on the wine front were hoping to deliver to our customers NZ's first preservative free wine. I am sorry to say we were unsuccessful this year. I am not happy with the finished product. It does not seem to have the same high quality as our other wines. We have learnt a few things, and we will try again next year.
On the current stocks front, the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose are getting low. Likely to be sold out in the next month. Don't miss out, order now. Our Gewurztraminer is tasting fantastic at present and we still have our Burgundy style Viognier.
Some more good news, we are excited to announce the release of our first Reserve Gewurztraminer this year and fully certified organic Methode Traditionnelle in October this year. We will keep you posted.
New Vintage in the Air
Welcome to our first newsletter for the 2012 year. We have had a busy Cellar Door this summer, and it has been great to meet such awesome people. We hope to see you again in the future, or just keep in contact via email or check us out at our web page www.wrightswines.co.nz.
The grapes are swelling, the barrels are empty and the birds are eyeing up the grapes (time for those bird bangers!). Vintage is definitely in the air.
After a challenging start to the vintage, we have had some stunning weather in the last week to put a smile on any vintner.
Today, we started to roll out the nets. The Gewurztraminer crop in particular is looking clean and promises much. The Reserve Chardonnay 2011 is out of the barrels and is tasting stunning, with a lovely golden hue. This wine is due for release in the next few months. Just in time, as the 2010 Reserve Chardonnay is down to a few cases – be in quick. We are very excited about what's to come in the upcoming months.
After 364 days in our Rent-A-Shack, Santa (with a little help from Geoff, with late night painting missions) came early and we moved into our Strawbale home on Christmas Eve. What a year! It is great to have a home again. The kids are loving it! Here is a recent photo of our home and family, which was featured in the Gisborne Herald Newspaper last weekend.
We have also decided it is time to share our love for all wines by introducing the Brown Paper Bag Blind Wine Tasting events. These will be held every two weeks on our vineyard. The inaugural event is 4-6pm, Sunday 12th February 2012. The plan is simple, bring a bottle of wine in a brown paper bag to share. No doubt some wise, crazy and completely irrelevant things will be discussed! For further information, check out our website www.wrightswines.co.nz under the tab - 'Blind Wine Tastings'. It will be great to catch up with those that can make it.
The grapes are swelling, the barrels are empty and the birds are eyeing up the grapes (time for those bird bangers!). Vintage is definitely in the air. We also still have room in our wine club for those interested in receiving wines on a regular monthly/bi-monthly basis. Something for everyone with 3 bottle, 6 bottle and Case packages. For more information. Let us know, if you are interested in receiving more information about this opportunity.
Here's cheers to a safe, happy, fun-filled 2012
Geoff, Nicola, Noah, Elijah & Luke
Vintage 2009 - Togas & Grape Stomping
Well Summer is well behind us, as the leaves start to turn and tumble from the trees. It has been a busy few months at Wrights Vineyard.
Vintage started early for us, with the harvest of grapes for our methode traditionnelle at the end of February. The methode is made up of a blend of chardonnay, semillion and sauvignon blanc grapes. We did this to ensure that the wine is truly a celebration of the first vintage from our vineyard. The wine has some lovely citrus notes and crisp acidity.
We harvested our other wine grapes throughout March, including Chardonnay, Methode Traditionnelle (Blanc de Blanc style) Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc. All of our wines are the natural fruit-driven styles, with good texture and well balanced, that we have built our reputation on. We will be indenting orders for these wines in the next few months. Watch this space.
We brought in our red grapes two weeks ago. The processing of our red grapes was very exciting, with us electing to break the skins in the traditional way with maidens (Nicola and a friend) hopping into the vat and stomping the grapes by foot. This process is softer on bunches than machine crushing, reducing excessive harsh tannins. The grapes reached the dizzying heights of their waists. The stomping took approximately three hours. Luckily, although Geoff did not perform as a foot-stomping maiden, he was on hand with refreshments. We have also been plunging the grapes every four hours to ensure we obtain colour, depth and good tannin release. Around 30 % of the berries were not broken to allow for a natural carbonic fermentation of these berries. This will ensure we have a fruit driven style. We intend to age these wines in new Bordeaux/American Barrels – Grand Cru barrels.
As we write this newsletter we are in the throws of planning to harvest our remaining grapes, which we have left on the vines for a late harvest semillon. These grapes will be used to produce our dessert wine. The grapes were so clean that they did not get affected with botrytis. We have left them out in the hope they will shrivel up like concentrated raisins. We are sure the neighbours are looking forward to the bird bangers being turned off, lucky for us some of them are on our payroll!
The processing of our wines in our own winery this vintage is also very exciting. There will be much to celebrate with the release of the new wines in July/August. Our winery has been set up in two shipping containers, very much kiwi ingenuity approach. The shipping containers are insulated and have a cooling system. One container has our tanks and the other has our barrels and lab set up. With Nicola doing a fine job this season with keeping a track of the ripening grapes and fermentation of the wine.
In between harvesting grapes and making wines, we have kept ourselves busy with the expansion of our vineyard. We have recently purchased the Revington Block, referred to by many as the “Grand Cru” of Gisborne Vineyards. The Revington Block has been producing premium Gisborne wines for over 20 years. It is planted out in Chardonnay, Viognier and Gewurztraminer. It is 11 acres in size. This will increase our vineyard and orchards to 25 acres. We also have plans to plant some Pinot Meunier to add complexity to our methode traditionnelle. The new vineyard is also located on Ormond Valley Road, the same road as our current block. This will allow us to easily manage them both. We have already started the process of converting the block to organic, with the regular application of biodynamic preparation 500 and seaweed. We are very excited to add this established and well respected vineyard to our business. We look forward to bringing you more classic, hand-crafted wines.
We spent last weekend harvesting olives. Although our own olive trees are not yet in production, we were lucky to source some spray free olives from local producers. We now have 35 litres of premium quality olive oil settling and ready to be bottled in six weeks.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to be interviewed by Susan Murray of Radio New Zealand. Our interview with Susan will be airing at 9.15pm, Friday, 1 May 2009 and 7.15am, Saturday, 2 May 2009. Tune in on Radio NZ Country Life National … 101FM...
Geoff, Nicola & Noah Wright
It Ain't Half Hot
Yesterday, Gisborne's temperature hit 35 degrees. Between the vines, temperatures have been hiking up to 45 degrees. Hot stuff!
This summer has all the signs of another fantastic vintage for Gisborne. We have been busy setting up our winery on the vineyard. We plan to have it up and running within the next two weeks. Just in time for vintage.
In early January, we trekked across the North island to New Plymouth, where we picked up 6 wine tanks. As you can see from the photo, we made the most of the trip.
For those that have recently stocked up on wines from Wrights Vineyard, you were just in time. We have now sold out of our lovely wines. The fantastic news is we will be releasing the first wines from our organic/bio-dynamic vineyard later this year. Watch this space. We donned our mad scientist hat and have checked bunch numbers, sizes and weights. We expect very limited stocks of Gewurztraminer, Syrah, and not so limited of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and our Methode.
Harvesting, cleaning and packing our fully certified garlic has kept us busy over the summer. We harvested approximately 400 kilos of garlic on the longest day . We are offering our customers the chance to purchase organic garlic direct from us. Be in quick, as the wholesalers are chomping at the bit to scoop up this crop. We are selling 2 kilos (approx 35 bulbs) for $40, plus freight $5 anywhere in NZ (rural delivery $9 anywhere in NZ). This is a bargain. You can pay up to $35 a kilo for New Zealand grown garlic, if you can find it. If you would like to purchase some garlic, Email Us Direct.
We have also been busy completing his and hers tabletops for our tasting area on the vineyard. Here is a picture of Nic – busy sanding and a picture of mine – already completed!
Please feel free to share our newsletter with friends and family. We also have a Recipe Page on our website with some sumptuous food to wet your appetite. I personally guarantee them – they are delicious!
Once the grapes are harvested, we will be accepting indented orders for our new release wines.
We trust you finds this safe and well after the silly season.
Geoff, Nicola & Noah Wright
Spring has sprung on Wrights Vineyard. The vines are looking strong, the buds have burst and the vineyard hums with the sights and sounds of nature. Everything is on track for the harvesting of the first crop of grapes from our own organic vineyard.
Mother Nature has continued to challenge us with low night time temperatures and the threat of frosts. The plans we have formulated and the preparation we have put in over the winter months are starting to pay off.
We are regularly applying biodynamic preparations and our own home brew preparations to the vineyard. This includes regularly spreading the goodness from our organic cow dung pit, which we laid down over the autumn/winter. We have also been applying sprays of stinging nettle, seaweed foliar spray and valerian to add further goodies from nature's kitchen to the vines.
During the frost risk period, early spring, during bud burst. Control starts with keeping the grass short, to increase air movement over the vineyard. We have also installed incinerators to increase the temperature and air movement during the frost. Although the neighbours may have thought we have taken up some form of devil worship, lighting fires at 3.30am, it was simply Geoff experiencing life as a pyromaniac.
In the near future, we look forward to bringing to your tables beautiful wines from our organic and biodynamically grown grapes. As soon as the harvest is complete, we will be offering you the opportunity to indent your order, so that you don't miss out on these long awaited wines.
In the meantime, we still have available limited stocks of the Wrights GW Chardonnay 2007. This is a fantastic, fruit driven style, which will make the perfect accompaniment to a spring picnic or to accompany any good food or company. We are offering a special of a winemaker's dozen (13 bottles for the price of 12) to help you stock up for the upcoming silly season. We also have limited stocks of our twin packs delivered to your door at the special price of $39.90, freight free. Order now at Wrights Vineyard.
Our lovely Methode Traditionnelle has been bottled, ready for hand riddling. We were fortunate to source some fruity, zesty grapes from local growers, Reid and Leigh Fletcher. The tank samples of this wine are tasting great. We look forward to launching the wine later in 2009.
We have also continued with our sponsorship of the arts and community events throughout winter. The Unity Theatre continues to direct some fantastic local theatre productions. We continue to support the EcoFest in Nelson. We organised the Gisborne celebration for World Vegetarian Day. Taking to the sea to celebrate nature on the refurbished pilot boat - M V Takatimu. There was a wide array of vegetarian nibbles on offer and we all landed safely ashore, after taking in stunning views of Young Nick's Head and Sponge Bay Island.
We are also excited to be part of the Organic Explorer's latest guide, which is being launched at the EcoShow in Taupo on 10 October 2008.
The organic wines are nearly here! Watch this space.
Doing it the Wright Way
It's rained and it's rained and it's bucketed down .... at Wrights Vineyard it has been a wet month of May. Our vines have continued to flourish over the last growing season and we look forward to the 2008/2009 growing season with great anticipation. The harvesting of our first crop of grapes from our own organic vineyard will be an occasion to remember.
Last week we welcomed the famous New Zealand wine writer Bob Campbell to our vineyard. It was a great opportunity to showcase our vineyard and for Bob to sample our 2007 chardonnay. Bob described the wine as having a great minerally taste, with good lees influence. He summarised the wine as “bloody good stuff”. Don't miss your opportunity to try this great wine. Order now online.
Bob was able to help us toast the implementation of one of our biodynamic preparations – the cow dung pit. We were lucky enough to have an organic cattle farm across the road, where we could source fresh cow dung. We hope to be spreading the goodness from the pit, over the vineyard in the next few months. Very exciting.
Talking of biodynamics, we are lucky enough to be hosting a biodynamics workshop on our vineyard on 21 June 2008. Jack Wanklyn, biodynamic specialist in Gisborne, who has been practising/making biodynamic preparations for over 20 years will be running this workshop. We also have Liz Alington of the Biodynamics Associations, presenting her research on the affects of biodynamics on food nutrition, humans and animals.
The Wrights GW Chardonnay 2007 is still available. This is a fantastic, fruit driven style, which will make the perfect accompaniment to a late autumn picnic or next to a roaring fireplace. We are offering a special of a winemaker's dozen (13 bottles for the price of 12) to help you squirrel away stocks for the Winter hibernation. Order now online.
We also have limited stocks of our twin packs delivered to your door at the special price of $39.90. The stockists of Wrights Vineyard's wines continues to grow, with the Powder Room in New Plymouth and Caros Fine Wines in Auckland taking on our wines.
With our Methode Traditionnelle being sold out for some months now, we laid down a bubbly in March. We were fortunate to source some fruity, zesty grapes from local growers, Reid and Leigh Fletcher. The tank samples of this wine are tasting great. We anticipate bottling the wine, ready for hand-riddling, early next month and look forward to launching the wine in 2009.
As the vines continue to flourish, so do the 300 olive trees that we have planted out on our vineyard. We have seen amazing growth of these trees in the last year. In anticipation of our first commercial crop of olives, we have continued with our mad professor experiments with olives that we have sourced locally. We have modified the recipes from last year's experiments in anticipation of being able to offer you the perfect olive oil and olives to accompany our quality wines.
We have also planted a commercial crop of garlic. Not that we have a problem with vampires – we are taking every opportunity to add biodiversity to the vineyard and make the most of the land that we have. Our gum trees have also increased with another 200 trees being planted this autumn. We look forward to being able to offer our cellar door customers pizza from our wood fired earth oven, in the years to come.
My wife said to me the other day “Are we dreaming Geoff?” I responded by saying “Yes, we are living our dream.” At Wrights Vineyard we are dedicated to producing the worlds most sustainable wine, keeping to our organic, natural farming and biodynamic principles and producing the highest quality products.
We trust that this newsletter finds everyone safe and well and ready to squirrel away for the winter hibernation.
Geoff, Nicola & Noah Wright
The Forces of Nature
2008 is already proving to be action packed for us at Wrights Vineyard. One month into the year and we have been busy with a promotional tour that took us from Gisborne to Oamaru (not quite Cape Reinga to the Bluff, but close). What a fantastic opportunity to meet many of our customers and show Noah, our 4 month old son, some of New Zealand.
We are running two “forces of nature” promotions to celebrate the new year. A winemaker's ½ dozen (buy 6 bottles of Wrights GW Chardonnay 2007 and get one free) and our two-pack promotion (2 bottles of our lovely Chardonnay, delivered to your door anywhere in New Zealand, for $39.90). Both of these fantastic offers are available order now online.
2007 ended for us with Mother Nature confirming that she is in charge. The 6.8 earthquake that rocked Gisborne in December was a healthy reminder of what is important and to make the most of what we have. We were very fortunate and did not suffer any damage to our vineyard, nor did we loose any of our wine stocks.
The 2007/2008 growing season has proved the best yet for our vineyard. The vines are flourishing and everything is on track for our first commercial vintage from the block in 2009. Traipsing through the vineyard with buckets of chicken manure, hours spent operating the weed-eater and tending the plants are finally paying off. We were also rewarded by passing our second year Organic Audit with flying colours. In May this year, our vineyard/orchard will be fully certified as organic. The future looks very bright for Wrights Vineyard.
The plans are well underway for our strawbale home, which will be off the grid. The site is cleared and ready to go, the plans are in draft, the builder is lined up and Geoff is ready to work on his builder's tan. We hope to be building before the end of the year. Our next project will be the winery/cellar door!
In January, we completed our road trip through the central North Island to the lower South Island. We were able to arrange a number of tastings and are grateful to those stores for their efforts in making our trip a great success. We also added a number of new stores to our growing list of outlets. Wrights Wines is now available from Dunedin to Keri Keri. A list of our outlets is available on-line at www.wrightswines.co.nz.
On our road trip we also took the opportunity to attend the Organic River Festival in Levin and the Sustainability Expo in Rolleston. The Organic River Festival was a fantastic opportunity to connect with other grass-root producers. It was a great experience and inspirational to see the number of growers and producers working hard for themselves. The Sustainability Expo, provided a one-stop opportunity to speak to those working on wind and solar power generation, as well as a chance to view number of other innovative products that can reduce the footprint of your home and business.
2008 will see us busy in the winery again. We are planning on making a Methode Traditionnelle, Merlot and Gewurztraminer. Although we were not planning on making any more wines until our vineyard is producing, the demand for our wines has been too great. These wines should see our loyal customers through until the launch of the organic, vegan wines from our own vineyard.
This year has also seen a number of other changes in the Wright household. Noah, the grasshopper who will exceed the masters (if we ever were the masters) any day now, continues to amaze us every day with his busy hands, quirky ways and happy chuckle. Geoff has finally made the break from accounting and, apart from being a very busy bee with the vineyard, has accepted the role of Tairawhiti Organics Facilitator. In this role, he is responsible for liaising with the organic growers throughout the region. Nicola is returning to the workforce part-time, working for herself as a barrister.
We trust that this finds you in good spirits in 2008, ready to face all challenges and create your own destiny.
Geoff, Nicola & Noah Wright
Mistletoe & Wrights Wines
With the festive season nearly here, it is time to celebrate in style with Wrights Wines. We have now released the Wrights GW Chardonnay 2007. We are really excited by this wine. It is tasting fantastic and can best be described as the next generation chardonnay. As our customers have come to expect, we are not afraid to blaze new trails with our wines. Our chardonnay is hugely aromatic; pears, lime, citrus and apple flavours, with a crisp, fresh mineral finish. A style more traditionally associated with riesling, sauvignon blanc and chablis.
Purchase two bottles of Wrights GW Chardonnay, delivered to your door anywhere in New Zealand for $39.90. 2007 is being heralded as the best vintage since the 1980s. Find out what all the hype is about and order now online.We now have the recipes page up and running on our website. This is your opportunity to contribute your very best vegan/vegetarian recipes. Be careful not to divulge too many family secrets though. We are offering a bottle of Wrights GW Chardonnay, delivered anywhere in New Zealand, to the first five people to contribute recipes online.
So far, the 2007/2008 growing season has been fantastic for us. The vines are looking strong and pushing hard. The weather is great, with just enough rain to quench the plant's thirst. The chicken manure we laboriously applied last season is giving the plants that extra boost, along with our new undervine tiller. Fingers crossed, if this continues for the rest of the season, we should be harvesting a crop from our own vineyard in 2008. Very exciting.
We have also booked in the grapes to make our next Methode Traditionnelle. The wine is likely to be two years in the making, but will be well worth the effort, given the popularity of our previous bubblys.On another growing front, it looks like we will have a crop of cherries from our cherry trees this Christmas. We are waiting on fruit set, but all looks to be on track. Please email us, if you are interested in purchasing organic cherries this Christmas.
Our next generation winemaker, Noah, is now two months old and gearing up for his first Christmas and vintage. Being born during bud burst, he must be destined for greatness in the wine hall of fame! He is great fun and is already helping out on the vineyard. Soon he will be driving the tractor.
The plans for our strawbale home are literally on the drawing board of our designer. We hope to have work underway on our new home in early 2008.
We have also introduced our wines into a number of new stores. Wrights GW Chardonnay is now available the length of the country. Our stores are: Circadian Rhythm (Dunedin), Oasthouse Liquorland (Oamaru), The Village Grape (Christchurch), Hislops Cafe (Kaikora), Commonsense Organics (Wellington), Chantals (Napier), Wairoa Cellars (Wairoa), Cafe Villagio (Gisborne), Minas (Gisborne), The Marina (Gisborne), Liquorland (Gisborne), Down to Earth (Gisborne), Herne Bay Cellars (Auckland), Triniti of Silver (Auckland).
On the sponsorship front, we were pleased to again support the local amateur theatre group, with their production of the Turn of the Screw. We also supported the Eco Show in Taupo.
We celebrated world vegetarian day in style, with a picnic in the vines. Although Gisborne was not blessed with ideal picnic conditions, with a slightly overcast, windy day, a number of hardy souls joined in the fun at Wrights Wines vineyard. A number of attendees were a bit late, but once they caught up with daylight savings the celebration was all on!
A fantastic spread was put on, with everyone contributing something from their culinary repertoire. Dishes on offer included tofu patties, a variety of vegetarian sausages, homemade salads and vegan gingerbread muffins – this recipe is now available online.
As well as the opportunity to sample vegetarian delights, catch up with old friends and make new ones, people had the chance to take in the fresh country air and tour Wrights Wines vineyard. Roger Ramjett (the rooster) and his girls (Houdini, Mia, Wonder Woman, Dr Spock and Penfold) took the opportunity to introduce themselves to everyone. The new release Wrights GW Chardonnay was also available to be sampled and enjoyed by all. We have something bigger, brighter and better for next year. We have also already put in the order for better weather too.
Yours in Christmas Cheer
Geoff, Nicola & Noah Wright
The Next Generation
The wonders of nature have been in full force on our vineyard and at home. On the home front we welcomed our new generation winemaker (You never know!) Noah John Wright, in the early hours 17th September 2007. We are proud parents, finding it hard to take our eyes and hands off Noah. As you can see in the picture with Nic, Noah is absolutely beautiful, and cute....I had better focus! On the vineyard we are surrounded by early bud burst.
The wait for our new release – Wrights GW Chardonnay 2007 is over. The wine is tasting fantastic, it is the next generation chardonnay. As our customers have come to expect we are not afraid to blaze new trails with our wines. Our chardonnay is hugely aromatic; pears, lime, citrus and apple flavours, with a crisp, fresh mineral finish. A style more traditionally associated with riesling, sauvignon blanc and chablis.
2007 is being heralded as the best vintage since the 1980's for Gisborne. To give you a chance to find out what all the hype is about we are offering a special new release pack of 2 bottles, delivered to your door freight free anywhere in NZ for $39.95. Check out our online ordering page for details at www.wrightswines.co.nz.
The pioneering spirit at Wrights Wines is alive and well with the new equipment we imported from the United States going brilliantly. The Calderoni Undervine Tiller and Harrow has been put to the test. The battle of man versus weeds just got a lot easier. The machine has a rotary arm or harrow which mulches/turns over the grass around the plants and under the grapes. This machine aerates the soil, removes weed competition, adds organic matter to the soil, thus allowing the plants to grow with minimal weed competition. We hope that the acceptance and use of these types of machines will help the industry to make positive steps towards developing sustainable farm practices. If you would like to know more about this machine, drop us an email.
We are continuing to promote bio-diversity on our vineyard and make the best use of our land by ploughing up a small section of our block to grow organic vegetables. And yes we have finally introduced chickens to our vineyard. This has led to the discovery of the answer to the famous question..... Why did the chicken cross the road? Upon its release our rooster, Roger Ramjet, headed straight towards the neighbour's block across the road, to great their hens. The sequel is this is that he came back because the other rooster was bigger!
We also have a number of exciting events planned as part of the launch of our new wine. Between 12 noon and 2pm on 30th September 2007 come and join us for a 'Potluck Picnic in the Vines with Wrights Wines.' The event is to celebrate World Vegetarian Day, to give you an opportunity to check out our organic vineyard and taste our new release chardonnay. Our vineyard is located 232 Ormond Valley Road, Gisborne. Bring some vegetarian food to share. BBQ equipment supplied.
Between 15th - 21st October we look forward to celebrating wine week in Gisborne. We are running two promotions. One with Down to Earth Health 2000 on the Saturday 20th October, with a taste sensation of nibbles, wines from Down to Earth's range and our wines. There will also be live entertainment on the day. The other promotion is with the Marina Restaurant. Customers who spend over $60 on a meal during wine week will receive a free bottle of our Wrights GW Chardonnay 2007.
In September, we successfully ran a wine quiz in conjunction with the charitable organisation Caritas. The funds went towards a tree planting project in Nepal. Over 100 people attended the evening and had the opportunity to try our wine along with 5 other wines. A spirited evening was had by all, with plenty of money being raised for Caritas.
We are also introducing a new feature on our web site – Recipes with Wine. Over the next week we will have an online form page where people can submit vegetarian 'Recipes with Wine' to our web page. These recipes will be available for everyone to use. The best wine and food match submitted over the next few months will win a two pack of our wines. We expect this form to be up and running over the next week, so keep a look out. If you can't wait, in the meantime you can submit your recipes to us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We already have three of our favourite meals to put up, they are really easy and delicious.
Feel the Love, Geoff, Nicola & Noah
Life is a Daring Adventure
For those of you who are new to our newsletter – WELCOME, and here is a brief history. Wrights Wines was established at the turn of the century (2000) by Geoff Wright, who packed up his accounting career and moved to Gisborne to study winemaking and viticulture. To Geoff's surprise after he completed the course he found out that his Great-Grandfather Stanko Jurakovich was one of the initial pioneers who produced wines in the Kumeu Valley, Auckland in 1931.
Nicola joined the business in 2005, through marring Mr Wright. Also in 2005, Wrights Wines at long last found a a prime location to create their dream vineyard in the renouned grape-growing region of Ormond Valley, Gisborne. A north facing plateau with lime stone running through the hill.
We are hoping to release our organic, vegan wines from our vineyard in 2008. Can you wait that long? It's going to be hard for us, but we have decided the next wine we make will be organic and from our vineyard, so hang in there, and when our wines are released we will let you know. We are planning to do something unique to the New Zealand wine market in that we will produce a white blended wine from our vineyard as well as a Bordeaux red style from our terraced hill site.
Sad to say we have very limited stocks of our lovely Merlot and Gewurztraminer. So we will fill orders on a first in first served basis. If we can not meet your order, we apologise in advance. However we still have good stocks of our Methode Traditionnelle available. This wine is tasting fantastic, with plenty of body, softness and flavour. These wines are available online at http://www.wrightswines.co.nz
The 2006/2007 summer has presented us with many challenges. The conditions at the start of the season were particularly dry, which has really tested our vines and later on have been humid, which has then added disease pressure. We have spent much of the growing season combating weed competition and water stress. This has tested our organic resolve, weedeating in 35 degree temperatures for entire days, handweeding around the plants, all to stay true to our organic philosophy. The hard work seems to be the nature of organics, but will allow us to bring you some lovely wines in the future.
Apart from the hard yards, 2007 has seen us think smarter, with the purchase of a rotary hoe and a cropliner (spray machine). The rotary hoe has already been put to work, turning every second row over between the rows of vines. We have also been using the cropliner to add our own seaweed and compost tea to the vineyard. We hope to use the cropliner to add back nature's goodness and give our vines the best possible start and to add life and vitality to the soil.
We have also sourced 30 tonne of organic chicken manure, which we have been busily spreading over our vineyard. Thanks to plenty of breath holding and some brave WWOOF'ers (willing workers on organic farms) we are adding more goodness to our plants and soil, keeping us on track for our best growing season in 2007/2008.
This year also brought with it the completion of the geo-tech report on our proposed building site. Unfortunately, the land we shaped and developed for our winery site and home is not suitable for development, so we have had the digger back out and flattened the land off to prepare it to be planted out in olives. Jeepers, doesn't life just turn round and donk you in the nose sometimes. This was extremely dis-hearting for us, after a lot of soul searching and thinking outside the square, we have planned our path forward.
We have come up with an alternative building site. This will be a hard task as we have to rip up some of our existing grapevines to create room for our proposed house and winery. However, the dream remains the same to develop our winery on the vineyard and produce quality organic, vegan wines using minimal additives.
Although the growing season has been full of challenges, we have learnt a lot in a short time, Whether or not things seem to be going our way, we remain true to the words of Helen Keller (blind poet) ... “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”
Kind Regards and Cheers
Geoff and Nicola Wright
Seasons of Life
2007 – what a bumper vintage. Plenty of warm weather, strong north-westerly winds and limited rain. The gods must be smiling on Gisborne. To keep up with customer demand, we decided to make an unoaked chardonnay. The wine is tasting lovely and should be gracing your tables just in time for the start of Spring fever. For those who missed out on trying our Wrights GW Merlot and Gewurtztraminer, we will be accepting advance orders of our Wrights GW Chardonnay in the not too distant future, so keep a look out on our web site http://www.wrightswines.co.nz
We still have very limited stocks of our Wrights Entity Methode Traditionnelle available. The wine is great for celebrating that special occasion, or enjoyed with family and friends. We recently supplied the wine for the opening night of Unity Theatre's production of “The Graduate”. Adding extra sparkle to the infamous Mrs Robinson strutting her stuff on stage. Some of our lovely wine will also be raffled off at the Eco Fest to be held in Nelson between the 11th to 12th August.
The land originally set aside for building, which was thwarted by a geo-tech report, is now flourishing with 150 olive trees. We have planted out frantoio and picholene olive varieties. Picholene olives are excellent for pickling. This has lead to a number of mad professor experiments in our kitchen to develop the perfect pickling recipe. Thanks to those friends who donated olives to the cause.
The battle of man versus weed continues on our block. Having witnessed how far behind our plants are compared to conventional plants, we have taken a stand – definitely not our last stand. After considering the results of soil tests and investigating a number of options, we have invested in some new equipment. Unfortunately, this equipment is not available in New Zealand. We are expecting it to arrive over the next couple of months.
The equipment looks very exciting. We are keeping details of the new equipment secret squirrel, until we have it up and running and have gone head to head with the weeds. We then plan to run demonstrations and mini-field days to introduce the equipment to the New Zealand Market. All we can say at this stage is ... weeds, enjoy it while it lasts.
Over the last few weeks, Geoff has tooled up and worked alongside our builder to create the first building on our vineyard. After a few blackened fingernails, plenty of sweat and a labour of love, the utility shed now emerges from the grapes like a rustic haven for the tractor, other equipment and us (on rainy days).
We have also developed a composting area / worm farm on the vineyard. This is an ideal place for us to make use of the left over chicken manure. We can confirm that, after extensive exposure, the compost does start to smell like rich, dark chocolate. The development of the composting area will also allow us to continue brewing up our own compost teas to add goodness to the plants and soil.
We have also commenced the sad, but necessary, task of ripping out vines from the chardonnay block to make room for our strawbale home. Basic plans have already been drawn up and steps are in train for building to commence at the end of the year. Although heart-breaking to loose plants, the dream of building our own eco-home and living amongst the vineyard and olive grove that we have created shows us that life, like the seasons, turns ..... roll on the golden years.
We have come up with an alternative building site. This will be a hard task as we have to rip up some of our existing grapevines to create room for our proposed house and winery. However, the dream remains the same to develop our winery on the vineyard and produce quality organic, vegan wines using minimal additives.
Kind Regards and Cheers
Geoff and Nicola Wright
Dancing with Nature
Sunny Gisborne has lived up to its reputation over the last few months, with beautiful warm weather. With no rain on the horizon we have practiced our rain dance and finally resorted to a more practical approach and have been hand watering the vines. We recently installed an irrigation system for the cherry trees. Rather than calling in the experts, we used “do-it-yourself” kiwi ingenuity and all appears to be working well.To celebrate the arrival of the silly season we still have available our lovely Wrights Entity Methode Traditionnelle. This wine is tasting fantastic and is a great choice to compliment any Christmas dinner or as a gift for friends and family. We also have limited Wrights GW Gewurztraminer and Wrights GW Merlot in stock. We deliver freight free anywhere in New Zealand. All of our wines can be ordered online at http://www.wrightswines.co.nz
We continue our dance with nature by applying bio-dynamic preparations to the block. Over the last two months we have applied a compost tea, made from compost from our worm farm and a seaweed spray. This is the second time that we have applied a compost tea to the block. We anticipate that the compost tea will add positive micro-organisms.
We made the seaweed spray by collecting seaweed from our local beach, adding water and leaving it to de-compose in the backyard for a month. The result was a spray that, although a bit fishy smelling, was rich in colour, high in nutrients and soaked up quickly by the plants.
The completion of the planting out of the pond in September has seen the arrival of a family of ducks and several frogs to the vineyard. This is great for the diversity on the block and will help to give balance & diversity.
We have been busy over the last couple of months with maintaining the vineyard. There is always plenty of mowing, weed eating and plant work to be done. Thanks to our WWOOFFFers (willing workers on organic farms) that have assisted us during October and November. In November, we also completed our second organic audit with Agri-Quality with flying colours.
Over the weekend we conducted our first wine quiz/blind tasting. This was a great opportunity to combine the tasting of our lovely wines and a challenge to the grey matter. Congratulations to the “premier”and “newcomer” teams, who took out first place. We hope to run more wine quizzes when the wines from our vineyard in Ormond Valley are available.
We wish you and your friends and family a safe and festive Christmas and a New Year full of dreams, goal setting, Wrights Wines and the energy to achieve those goals.
Kind Regards and Cheers
Geoff and Nicola Wright
Back to the Future!
Yippee, we are now back from our honeymoon/business trip. Did you miss us?
We have some great inspiration from the wineries and vineyards that we visited in Bordeaux, Tuscany and the Napa Valley for our own business. We were also fortunate enough to attend the international wine and spirit fair in London. It was a great opportunity to taste wines from around the world and to talk to other winemakers.
The shortest day is nearly here and winter is upon us. Our favorite at the moment is mulled wine, so we are recommending our Merlot. All orders can be made online at www.wrightswines.co.nz. For those that are enjoying our Gewurztraminer and Methode Traditionnelle, these are also available,delivered to your door freight free.The shortest day is nearly here and winter is upon us. Our favorite at the moment is mulled wine, so we are recommending our Merlot. All orders can be made online at http://www.wrightswines.co.nz. For those that are enjoying our Gewurztraminer and Methode Traditionnelle, these are also available, delivered to your door freight free.
As winter fast approaches, it is a great time to reflect on the 2006 vintage. Having only transplanted our vines from the nursery to the vineyard in August last year, our vines did not produce any fruit this vintage. We spent our time tending our 4,500 vines and developing a house and winery site on the land. The earthworks came up trumps in its first major test, with heavy rains falling from mid to late April. To the right is a photo of our completed earth works. The top site is a planned strawbale home, second tier a winery, tasting room, carpark, the thrird tier winer storage and also festival grounds, and of course our dam/pond which we plan to plant up with natives.
The tiger worms in the worm farm have flourished in the wet conditions and are big, healthy and productive making some lovely compost. This will assist us in making composting tea to combat disease during next spring and summer.
Our olive trees produced a small amount of fruit, which was brilliant for their first season on the land. They have done well, so we are purchasing another 100 trees to plant out. We currently have frantoio (a great oil producer), J5 (which has a lovely nutty flavour) and picholene (an oil and table variety) planted out. We plan to supplement these with more frantoio and J5 and some picual.
We are also in the process of planting out 100 cherry trees on the block to help increase the biodiversity on the block. With cherry trees being a new crop to the region, we hope to be collecting some valuable information for other growers in the region.
We are also planning to establish a wine club. This will help you to secure your supply of quality wines, delivered monthly to your door. As a member of our wine club you will also be entitled to receive tasting notes, food matches with our wines and recipes, and of course our newsletter.
We trust that you keep safe and warm over the winter months and look forward to your continued business throughout 2006. We will leave you with this quote to ponder “a balanced diet is nothing like a far fetched idea that actually happens.”
Geoff & Nicola Wright
Budburst / Going Green
Spring fever has arrived in Gisborne. We have been experiencing some lovely balmy days, with temperatures of over 25 degrees. The plants are springing into life all around us. Bud burst is well underway and we are looking forward to an excellent growing season.
With the arrival of the warmer weather, it is a great time to enjoy Wrights Entity Methode Traditionnelle with friends and family on sunny afternoon or over dinner. We also have Wrights GW Gewurztraminer and Merlot in stock. All of our wines can be ordered online at http://www.wrightswines.co.nz
The cherry trees are bursting into life and we have just finished mulching them, with newspaper and bark. Like the grape vines, it took longer to mulch the cherry trees than it did to plant them! We have also finished planting out natives around the pond. To add to the bio-diversity of the block we planted further natives (cabbage trees and flaxes) along our fence lines. It is great to have everything in the ground and growing.
We have also added to the bio-diversity of the block by introducing more lavender plants. We hope that these plants will perform a dual role in the vineyard by attracting bees, but also deterring birds (in particular grape eaters around harvest) from the block. We planted three varieties of lavender, being pacific blue, violet intrigue and avice hill. All of these varieties are great oil producers and long-term we plan to add lavender products to the Wrights Wines range.
In June we welcomed our first wwoofer (willing worker on organic farms) to our vineyard and home, Tim Haag (pictured hard at work). This is a fantastic scheme that gives travelers a chance to experience life on an organic farm and for us to host them, broaden our horizons and benefit from their toil. Since hosting Tim, we have also hosted a number of other woofers: Elyse, Hans, Andrea, Stephanie, Baptiste, Eitan and Beth. Thanks for your help guys.
The winter months have been a busy time for us with sponsorship of the arts. We have been involved in some great local productions, the ageless – The Sound of Music and Allo Allo. We have also recently had the opportunity to be involved in the Caratis fundraiser.
World Vegetarian Day is on 1 October 2006. Film Festivals are being run in Auckland and Christchurch, with some thought provoking films being shown. A great opportunity to reflect on the impact that we have on the environment and how lucky we are living in New Zealand.
Cheers & Kind Regards,
Geoff and Nicola Wright
Recipe for Success
Welcome to Wrights Wines newsletter, informing you about wine releases, promotions and what's happening in the world of Wrights Wines. For those that are new to our newsletter, Wrights Wines is an organic vineyard/olive grove in Gisborne, we produce wines with huge depth of flavour, applying a philosophy that gives the wines substance.At Wrights Wines we believe in promoting self sustaining farming principles. This is why we don't use destructive fungicides, insecticides or herbicides. We have just completed our first compost tea spray on our vineyard and olive grove. We use compost from our worm farm, which is then mixed in an aerobic solution, diluted and then sprayed on to the plants. This compost tea contains loads of positive microorganisms and nutrients.
The harvest in Gisborne is now fully underway. The weather over the last month has really aided in producing some stunning grapes. At Wrights Wines we have made the decision to hold off producing wines this vintage from contracted growers. We are so excited about the possibility of making wines from our organic vineyard in 2007 that we have decided to sell down our wine stocks and wait for the 2007 release.
At present we have available Wrights GW Merlot, Gewurztraminer and Wrights Entity Methode Traditionnelle. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many of our customers, these wines are tasting fantastic. If you haven't tried our Gewurztraminer, don't miss out. It is a new style, way ahead of the new world wines. The wines are available online at http://www.wrightswines.co.nz. We accept visa, mastercard and cheque. Wines can be ordered online and are freight free to your door anywhere in New Zealand.
One of our main goals in 2007 is to produce a self sufficient winery and home on our block. We have designed our winery around natural processing, without huge sources of power. We are planning to have the winery/home off the grid.
Over the next few months – April/May/June we will be away in Europe researching these principles and making international contacts, not to mention enjoying our Honeymoon. We can still accept orders during this time, with the help of friends. Although it will help us immensely, if your orders are in before the 14th of April.
Once again we would like to thank you for your support, we wish you a healthy autumn, 'looking after yourself is a recipe for success'.
Geoff Wright and Nicola Meikle, (soon to be Mrs Wright)