Monday, April 26, 2010

Empty Bench, Empty Linep...

I had my first weekend off since I began working in February, and I was happy to see the large swell that arrived on Wednesday was still gracing our coastline. Oddly, the winter weather that seemed to be creeping into Gisborne just a couple weeks ago has turned back to near summer temperatures. Winter swells with summer weather seems like a pretty good combination to me. Regardless, things in front of our house have been looking pretty good. Empty bench, empty lineup...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Swell for Gisborne

The south Pacific Ocean has been stirring up lately, producing some good swell for both coasts here in New Zealand. Gisborne and the East Cape saw some of the season's biggest waves yesterday (Wednesday) as most spots maxed out with 6-foot-plus sets crashing into local beaches. Of course, all the little nooks and crannies of the East Cape did provide some epic surf for those knowledgeable and adventurous enough to hunt it down. I was unfortunately trapped at work most of the day and didn't have the time to find any waves. Still, I've had several good surf sessions recently.
With the promise of more swell to come, I placed a surfboard order last week with Tommy Dalton at The Boardroom in Wainui. It will be a couple more weeks until its ready but I'm already anxious to start riding it. The little 5'6'' fish I brought along for the trip has been a good companion, but it's just too small for the waves we've been seeing (plus, the broken leash plug means lots of swimming if you can't stay on your feet).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Harvest Update - Syrah is Here

We brought in eleven tonnes of Syrah on Friday, which will be co-fermented with one tonne of Viognier (an addition of 5-10% Viognier helps stabilise red wine colour via co-pigmentation). Still, I can't say our winery has concluded vintage since we still have our late harvest Semillon left to harvest. The winemakers are still putting in plenty of time at the winery, preparing some of last year's wines for bottling and finishing off wines from this year.
I'll be bringing out some new posts soon as I begin to free up some more time away from the winery. This will include a range of topics including some wine reviews, production notes and ideas, and some fun stuff, too.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hapuka Treat

Having a good friend who happens to be a professional chef has some obvious perks. My flatmate Mark always seems to be creating some new, unique dishes. It's not hard to find fresh, locally grown produce in Gisborne, providing Mark with plenty of options. We recently had some fresh caught Hapuka dropped by the house and Mark showed what New Zealand seafood really means. Hapuka is a species of Grouper found sparingly throughout the south Pacific, including New Zealand. These fish are typically found below 30 meters, and reportedly can reach weights of 100 kilograms. Check out the recipe on Mark's site.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sets Coming...

The seasons are changing here in Gisborne; the past few nights have been rather cool, with day time temperatures reaching far below highs of 29-30 degrees Celsius that we saw just a couple weeks ago. Summer is ending and fall is beginning, which signals to surfers that the large swells of fall should be gracing the coastline. Last week's storm brought heavy rain and windy conditions to town for most of the week, but had done its damage by Thursday. Both Saturday and Sunday provided fine weather for Gisborne, particularly for surfers who had 3-4 feet of east swell and offshore winds both days.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Harvest Update - Back to Days

The winery seemed rather quiet this week as the staff returned from the long Easter weekend. The holiday gave everyone a much needed break. Though we've returned still running 24 hours a day, we only received 150 tonnes of grapes before a large storm settled in and dropped over 20 millimeters of rain. Nonetheless, we only have a handful of grapes left to harvest consisting primarily of Syrah, Viognier, and Semillon. The winemakers are excited about the quality of this vintage and how well our wines are progressing; we've already begun racking and sulphuring a good deal of finished ferments, though we still have over forty tanks and fifty barrel lots to look after.
We did receive a visit from the Easter Bunny, who seems to have taken up residence outside my office window.