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Michelle & ValentinaDefinitely Autumn in the Marlborough

I began writing this in Autumn (hence the pic) but now summer is knocking at the door. It is nearly 2011 and I want the chance to say that 2010 had to be the best overall vintage I have been involved in. The extended warm and dry weather in April meant picking decisions were relaxed and optimal and the harvest progressed at a graceful speed. It was near the end of vintage when I realised that I had not had one stressful time. No rain to force picking, crop yields were in perfect balance meaning that the vines stayed green to ripen them to perfection. No late or lost freight trucks or broken down forkhoists. The pickers were excellent, the winery crew lovely. It was a freakishly near perfect harvest.

During the winemaking process, there were times I had no choice but to bring my 15 month old daughter out with me. Unlike in the vineyards, I could not let her run around and worried that she would get irritable as I processed the fruit. Even that went smoothly. I had her in a backpack, and she sat enthralled at the chardonnay juice running out from the press, hitting the dry ice and evaporating in to the air. She dined out on Pinot Noir grapes, which appeared to be her favourite and watched avidly at everything that was going on around her. I could not have asked for a better vintage..Now all the ferments have finished, the 2010 Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir Rose bottled as well as bottling the 2009 Pinot Noir. I can now make my tirp to Europe to visit the markets there while my 2010 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir slumber away in their barrels.

A welcome development is my joining of a small group of select wineries all under the artful guidance of Peter Lorimer at NZ Wine Porfolio. He will be taking my wines to other world markets while I can concentrate on making my wine and spending time with my daughter. A perfect match and I look forward to presenting my wines to the people he meets.

Cin cin
Michelle

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