Browse all our archived news below, sorted by year.
Well, it is the 9th of December today, 5 hail showers (minor) in the middle of flowering makes for extreme conditions. The spring has been variable, also with extremes - temperature fluctuations, quite a lot of rain, very strong winds, four frosts including the last one on the 1st of December – a minor frost and although we have micro-sprinklers to protect through our frosts, we have never had one this late – what was that about Global Warming? Global Change I think for NZ. What can come next? At least it is a good day for working on getting the mail-order release out and reflecting on the year that has past and wondering about the season to come – an abrupt change from the forecast of dryer and hotter than normal to last week’s prediction of colder and wetter than the norm – no kidding.
The purpose of this column is to try and keep you up to date with what is happening at Bell Hill and where we are going. Last week we planted more vines – a 6th of what we had planned and ordered but that is part of the continuing saga of our rootstock/available plant material dilemma (see our mail-order newsletter in the Archives section). Hopefully the balance will come next year but you have to say every little bit helps from a vine and production point of view.
So what has been happening this year? Too much as always, but I guess we can all say that can’t we? A couple of things that were omitted from our mail-order letter if you have read that already (see archives) include Strategy and also why there is no chardonnay from 2005 vintage. You may know that Strategy Advertising and Design created our branding and packaging for Bell Hill. We have developed a very special relationship and have seen their success in August 2006 with the NZ Best Design Awards as winner in the category of small business identity for Bell Hill and highly commended for Bell Hill in the packaging category. This was a great result and we look forward to the continuation of that relationship. They also re-vamped the Old Weka Pass Road Label for the 2003 vintage and we are very happy with that.
Unfortunately we have no Chardonnay from the 2005 vintage to release with the 2004 Pinot Noir, volumes were very small in 2005 (you will see that next year with the allocations) and the wine has not been bottled yet. The 2006 vintage is more promising with volume.
We had a sales trip to Sydney in mid November to show our 2004 Pinot Noirs. It is always neat to travel to Australia as it has been a very supportive market for us from the beginning. We dined at Est in The Establishment where the great sommelier Franck Moreau has our wine on the list. The food was wonderful including the Sydney rock oysters which was close competition for our Bluff. I had a sourdough-crusted snapper which was sublime. We also had a meeting with the Head Sommelier at Rockpool and hope to have our wine on their list from the 2004 vintage.
Close to home we have a new full-time employee at the vineyard – Oliver Polson, who joined us in November. Oliver has completed his studies at Lincoln University in soil science and is very enthusiastic about viticulture and wine. He will be a valued addition to our team.
I guess that is all for now, we wish you all the best for the festive season and thank you for your support.
Sherwyn and Marcel