Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Indonesia Beginnings

I found myself boarding an early morning bus to Auckland on the 26th of May, leaving behind Gisborne, offshore winds, and a 5-6 foot swell. As I started my day and a half journey to Bali, all I could think was that this is not the best way to start a surf trip. Nonetheless, I couldn't help but smile when I stepped off the plane into the humid night air on the 27th. I had fortunately met Jason, another surfer, on the plane ride over and we shared a taxi into Kuta. After dropping our bags off at our hotel, we headed out to the Sky Garden. I dragged myself out of bed early the next morning and quickly organized some motorbikes; we were on our way to the Bukit Peninsula by 8. 
Leading the way out of the city and into the countryside, I couldn't help but notice how much things had changed in just one year (particularly since I took a few wrong turns on the motorbike). The landmarks I had grown accustomed to just one year prior seemed to be all but changed, replaced by new buildings. Indonesia is truly a developing nation; its dynamic atmosphere is one of my favorite aspects of the country.
When we finally arrived at Uluwatu, we were surprised. The side shore wind was ruffling the small swell. A healthy lineup of 70 people were sitting at the peak, eagerly waiting a set. After breakfast at a cliffside warung, Jason and I decided we were better off continuing our search as the conditions weren't the best. After familiarizing ourselves with the roads again, we walked down a cliff to a more wind protected spot and waited for the tide to start dropping. After a relaxing afternoon, we found ourselves in some fun 3-foot surf. (Photos - 1. Jason 2. Bali parking lot 3. Me)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Again - Back in California

I finally arrived back in California on Saturday after my week of "anti-vacation" back in New Zealand (going from dry season in Indonesia to winter in New Zealand, then summer in California is a bit strange). Flying into Los Angeles, I couldn't help but take a photograph and think about the stark differences between here and New Zealand. While I'm glad to be back in my hometown of San Diego, I'm already missing my new second home in Gisborne.
Now, I find myself wondering where the path will lead me next. The Northern Hemisphere wine harvest seems to be approaching quickly but I've yet to find a winery to call home for autumn. While I am slightly uneasy about my prospects, harvest is still over a month away and I have plenty of time to enjoy summer before worrying about settling back into 70-hour work weeks.
In the mean time, I have plenty of stories to share from my travels in Indonesia. Unfortunately, these may not be accompanied by photographs as my camera memory card was corrupted in a Balinese card reader while I was in Kuta. I'm still working on retrieving them but the first three weeks of my trip may be lost (well, the photographs may be lost but the memories will stay with me forever). My first tales from Indonesia will be posted in just a few days, and I also have some great wine data and reviews coming.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back and Cold

I arrived back in New Zealand on Sunday night after a long day and a half of traveling. I'm saying goodbye to friends and tying up loose ends here in Gisborne for a few days and will be back in sunny San Diego on Saturday. I'm definitely looking forward to some more warm weather...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Relics

As one of the oldest wineries in Gisborne, the property is littered with relics from the past. I came across the old barriques stashed behind some tanks during one of my daily walk arounds.

As one of the largest wineries in Gisborne, we also have our fair share of stainless steel tanks as well. Ranging from 1,400 liters to 280,000, wine placement trhoughout the facility becomes a game (particularly towards the end of vintage as tank availability dwindles).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Growing Pains

Despite the onset of winter, I planted a few crops at my flat in New Zealand just before heading off to Indonesia. The colder weather definitely makes cultivating plants more difficult, but my bok choi and spinach crops were coming along quite nicely.
After a poor yielding wheat grass crop, a little research and extra effort provided one of our best crops to date. Hopefully I'll get back to New Zealand in just over a week to have a nice spinach salad, some bok choi soup, and a couple shots of wheat grass!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Two W's

As a winemaker and surfer, I don't think I'll ever be able to complain about this view. Well, I guess I can; when I took this picture, I was just checking the surf from the tank tops at work instead of being in the water. Nonetheless, I'll miss my morning surf checks in Gisborne.
I just got back to Bali from Nusa Tenggara this morning after an epic eight-day trip. Our first few days saw conditions well overhead, up to maybe triple overhead at its biggest. Size back off a little bit, but never dipped below head high even on the smallest two days. I'll have some more to come on Nusa Tenggara once I get can my photographs loaded up. Now, I just have a couple days here in Bali before I head off for my next adventure...