Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Zealand 2011

The wind still had a mighty bite the day I left Montauk for NZ, I wore possum socks and boots and a coat. When I arrived the possum socks were immediately relegated to the bottom of the suitcase and the flip flops were retrieved. It's that time of year again; Harvest at Stonecrop and fingers crossed so far the weather has cooperated, decisions about picking the grapes will all depend on rain (or not) but the bunches look healthy and the fruit is tasting great. On the way back to my Father-in-Law's house from the airport we stopped to pick up groceries; such a plethora of vegetables and fruit to be found especially at this time of the year and just stuff that is out-of-the-ordinary for us, such as feijoa juice which me and the NZ'er guzzle by the gallon and I always load up on green-lipped mussels, they can be found in nearly every supermarket and are inexpensive, same with cockles. We throw them on the barbecue, they make a tasty little appetizer before the often more meaty main course. 

We had some Montauk friends come visit us in Martinborough, we showed them around the vineyard, the kids rode in the tractor, we barbecued and drank wine on a big porch surrounded by olive groves, a good time was had by all. It's a blast to be able to share the Stonecrop/Martinborough experience with our Montauk friends, these guys will miss the harvest but we may have convinced them to come back next year and help pick. It just so happened that the weekend they were in Martinborough it was the Run Around the Vines half marathon, a course that crosses normally inaccessible vineyards with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, me and my friend Sue did the walk with the kids in the stroller, what a fun event; lots of folks in fancy dress, live music, big piles of cold watermelon, a favorite with the kids, our friend Jan from Providore makes a mean (and popular) venison burger, there were fish vans and fresh fruit and veggies stands and of course wine. Ed came third in the race and Caroline came fifth, these guys don't mess around.

P.S. We bottled our 2010 Pinot Noir on Monday - Today we picked some of the Pinot (dijon clone 115) tomorrow we pick dijon clone 777 - busy time at the vineyard. We opted for budget accommodation this year; a classic New Zealand caravan, photos to follow.....