Tag: marlborough

The Paper Rain Project: Recycled Wine Barrel Longboards

Indigo Greenlaw & Wills Rowe are the team behind The Paper Rain Project, makers of hand-crafted and ethically sourced art goods including t-shirt, wall art and longboards.

In a quest to combine story-rich materials with their unique skills, Indigo and Wills started to produce rideable art out of recycled wine barrels from Marlborough and turn them into trendy longboards. Read More

Sauvignon 2016 – WOW what a week!

The Sauvignon 2016 International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration held in Marlborough last week was a wild success!

There was something for everyone, with informative seminars, speakers from all over the world, tastings highlighting the different styles of NZ Sauvignon Blanc and regional and sub-regional expressions, international Sauvignon Blancs, flights of ‘The Classics’, alternative styles and world class dinners – a Garden Party at Timara Lodge, the Kiwiana Beach Party at The Store (with a train ride and beer tasting to boot) and the Gala Dinner at Brancott Estate, complete with glamazons modelling pieces from the World of Wearable Art …and enough award-winning Sauvignon Blanc to flood Marlborough!

Sauvignon 2016 2

At Whitehaven we hosted ‘The Wild Bunch’ alternative Sauvignon Blanc tasting and lunch last Wednesday.  Guests included wine writers and critics, international media and oenophiles from the world over.   Nine wineries hosted this particular event and each guest had four Plumm wine glasses (a modest number compared with other events!), so you can imagine the number of glasses that were polished – and subsequently raised – in Marlborough last week! And the number of sore heads!

Whitehaven Lunch

The Wild Bunch tasting included 100 alternative Sauvignon Blancs in five categories – sparkling, aged, lower alc, late harvest and ‘The Wild Bunch’ (my flavourite).  It was a whirlwind tasting, with so many wonderful wines to try, including some stunning aged Sancerre from the Loire Valley and buttery Californian Sauvignon/Semillion blends from the Napa Valley.

The tasting was followed by a three course lunch in our barrel hall.  And it wasn’t just Sauv’s on the menu, in case you were wondering.  There was also a stunning array of Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Syrah…

Sam Young from Wine Marlborough and Sarah Booker did a wonderful job of organising the entire three day celebration, including project-managing the delivery of all the wines and all the glassware for every single event.

It was definitely a week to remember and one to firmly re-establish Marlborough as the home of Sauvignon Blanc.

Cheers!! It might just be time to pour one myself!

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The Aidan Kelly Project

I want to introduce you to Aidan Kelly. Aidan’s only 23 and he’s ridiculously talented. He’s also genuinely inspiring.

A Marlborough orphan like myself, until recently Aidan was a full-time musician on the streets of our capital city. Saturday mornings you will find him busking on Blenheim’s Market Street.

And he has a semi-regular gig Friday/Saturday nights at Yard Bar, Ritual and Scotch – a recent development after winning a local talent contest.

But music’s an expensive habit. By day, Aidan’s a viticulturist for Cloudy Bay Vineyards, hence the recent move to Blenheim (not the most obvious choice for an aspiring musician!). It was an opportunity too good to pass up and one that feeds his insatiable thirst as an ecologist.

Despite being the best live act I’ve seen anywhere in years (and yes, I do get out!) and a talented song writer, this is his true passion. Aidan wants more than anything to own a modest piece of land, to grow food and to teach people about holistic living. Whilst his ideals may be more modest than my own (I’m a Taurus what can I say?!) he’s a thought leader. And he doesn’t preach. But watch his eyes light up when he talks about food forestry (at its simplest, this is the application of ecosystem principles to food and resource production, utilising multiple layers of production – think of the different layers of the forest, the soil, shrub layer, canopy etc. – to maximise productivity). He’s also an aspiring winemaker.

He’s one to watch, literally – check out his Facebook page. I think he’d give Ed Sheeran a run for his money. ‘Understanding in a Car Crash’ is crazy beautiful. Star struck? Not much.


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Meet Melisa

Meet Melisa, Marketing Manager in Marlborough … sorry, I just had to get this out of my head!

Melisa Beight is one of the lovely ladies who is writing for Sip NZ Wine. She was a commercial litigator in Auckland and London for 14 years before she recently landed her dream role as Marketing Manager for Whitehaven Wines in Marlborough. Melisa is super passionate about the New Zealand wine industry and she had been dreaming about and plotting her career metamorphosis for some time.

Before I share some of Melisa’s interviews, I better introduce her to you in a quick Q&A session.

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
Champagne (bubbly (unless flat), an expensive habit, great with friends…).

Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
I absolutely love wine, wineries and vines; I am interested in science, how the climate and soil affect the grapes, the creative, artisan aspect of winemaking, and the sense of community and spirit in the wine industry. When I was working in London, I used to dream of sunny Waiheke and I was absolutely determined to pull off a career coup but didn’t know where to start. I feel very fortunate that my dream job recently materialised (in accepting this award, I would like to thank the universe, Sue White and Simon Toneycliffe!).

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Champagne and, well, anything; Pinot Noir and dark chocolate with whole almonds.

Share a fact about you that only a few know:
I am very easily distracted and can spot (and be distracted by) a flickering light at 100km.

Hidden gems and favourite spots in your region?
I am new to Marlborough, so I will have to update this in 6 months – but to date, my favourite cafes in Blenheim are Ritual, 23 Grove Road Coffee House and Raupo. Scotch is a good spot to meet friends for a drink. Rock Ferry (winery) is great for lunch and makes a delicious organic Chardonnay. And there are two surprisingly good clothing stores – No. 4 and Thomas’s (which stocks lots of NZ designers).

Things you still want to do:
See Argentina, learn to sail, learn to fly a plane, get my children’s books published, and be appointed to a board.

Last book read:
The Italian Wife by Kate Furnival.

Advice on buying wine:
Cellar doors and tastings enable you to try different wines and unusual grape varieties. Be brave – if you don’t like it, tip it out. I also keep a note in my phone of wines I like, so I can track them down later.

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
My future husband! (note to self: edit if offers from eligible/ineligible suitors become unmanageable).

Thanks Melisa! Make sure you follow her on Twitter – @vinumlegem and Instagram – @Melisab8.


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