Browse all our archived news below, sorted by year.
Dear Friends of Bell Hill
We hope that this newsletter finds you well and that despite our local tumultuous times and vibrations, things are looking positive for everyone. Our feelings and sympathy go out to all of those affected by the Canterbury earthquakes and we are all looking forward to some sense of normality and the start of the recovery process. We rely on our own inputs and hopefully the insight of our planners to take the opportunities for creation and not just rebuilding. A great start would be a central covered market with eat-there food outlets. The 2011 vintage came in well with the excitement of new blocks coming into production from the Shelf and the Roadblock and we look forward to more from them next year. It has been a very good season and we have enjoyed the benefits of a warm summer and autumn. We also had more fruit this year and even with the loss of the Limeworks Pinot Noir, which has been replanted into Chardonnay, we had a good variety to work with.
During the last growing season we had the assistance in the vineyard of vigneron Sylvie Boyer from the village of Meursault in Burgundy. It was a nice change to have European trained eyes look at Bell Hill and get some feedback and look at what is ahead of us. Unfortunately Sylvie returned home earlier than planned but she will always be a friend of ours now in France.
It is with great pleasure that we would like to introduce to you our 2008 release. These wines have shown themselves to be quiet starters and are now giving us a real sense of their potential. We were particularly impressed with the minerality of the Chardonnay this vintage and also that we finally had a little bit more volume to work with overall. The Pinot Noirs have a real elegance about them and their drive and definition is characteristic of our wines.
There are critics comments attached with one highlight being that we have moved up in the world according to Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer and have been granted the 5th star in their Great NZ Pinot Noir Classification. The classification is based on a rolling average rating of the five most recent vintages and it is great to join three other wineries in this top category. It was a pleasure to host Matthew Jukes after the Wellington Pinot event in January 2010. Other interesting visitors to Bell Hill over the last year were Monty Waldin, a biodynamic wine author and a leader in that field, Anthony Rose MW from the UK who has recently featured the 2007 Bell Hill Pinot Noir in a Decanter Masterclass, Matt Kramer from the USA writing for Wine Spectator, David Rosengarten also from the USA and John & Juliet Thorogood from the Colchester Wine Company, our UK importer.
As a result of the Pinot Noir 2010 event in Wellington, we made contact with Merit Wine Boutique in Hong Kong and they are now our distributors for the Hong Kong market. We hope to visit them some time over the next year. The USA is still a work in progress but we have some good people to talk to over there so it is just a matter of finding the time to meet face to face. The other export markets are doing very well and are always asking for more wine which is a good thing. Hopefully one day soon we can give everyone more. Our New Zealand market is continuing to grow in the areas of mail order and restaurant support so we thank you all for that.
So back to business, our offer for the 2008 vintage is enclosed. Due to our small current volumes and continued nightmarish allocation issues with all areas of our markets, we are trying something different this year. Please let us know how much wine you would like, do not send any money yet and we will do our best to accommodate your request and advise you what is possible. All you need to do is complete the enclosed Mail Order Form with the number of bottles you require and your delivery address details and return this to us via fax, email or post. We will then confirm your order, adjust if necessary and send you an invoice for payment.
Thank you again for your valued support and wishing you all the best for the year to come.
With best regards,
Sherwyn & Marcel