Friday, April 24, 2009

Hard work in the Australian sun!

Thursday 23 April

Yesterday I promised a view of the hard conditions I am working under as I travel round Australia selling our wines. This is to the left. I want you to realize that, while it is very difficult working in these hot, dry and sunny conditions, I do want you to not feel sorry for me.

In the evening we hosted a Winemakers dinner at the Forth Floor restaurant in Mooloolaba – as you see from the photographs, a stunning setting in which to present our wines. The dinner was organised by Brett who manages the local Vintage Cellars fine wine store. This is a lovely store where Brett and Dana dispense excellent wine advice to their customers

The meal comprised four courses during which we tasted 8 wines. This included 2 Italian and 2 New Zealand Pinot Gris, one of which was the MJE 2008 ‘Wairarapa’ Pinot Gris and it compared extremely well with all the other examples. Of particular interest was the wide range of styles – reinforcing to me that fact that, like Pinot Noir, this is a grape that very much reflects the environment in which it grows. Then we moved on to comparing the Murdoch James ‘Martinborough’ Pinot Noir with the ‘Blue Rock’ Pinot Noir, followed by the "Saleyards 'Syrah. We assessed the three reds against a wonderful Venison dish. Then we finished with a Beaumes de Venise partnered with a pear flan. Just a magic combination.

Dinners like this are a wonderful opportunity for winemakers to meet with consumers. It presents an ideal environment for you in which to learn what the winemaker is striving to achieve in each of his or her wines, and to discuss this with them. Most of all though they are always most enjoyable evenings spent sharing good food and wine with people who appreciate them. You should always take advantage any time an opportunity to attend one arises!

Tomorrow I'm visiting a lot of Vintage Cellars stores in Brisbane, so I'll include a bit of commentary on the retail side of our business in the next posting. Meantime, here are a couple of shots of the Vintage Cellars store in Mooloolaba, and of Dana who was dispensing expert advice to her customers during my visit. Spot the MJE Pinot Noir on the shelf!