In March this year, Negociants NZ invited nine trade guests who were Yalumba supporters to visit the Yalumba winery & vineyards in the Barossa and Eden Valleys. While they were there, they also visited Henschke, Rockford, John Duval and Langmeil wineries. The following report is written by the two Negociants NZ Area Managers who travelled with the group; Sonja Scarth, Area Manager for Waikato & Bay of Plenty and Deanna Smith, Area Manager for Auckland Off Premise.
From back left to right: Aki Uematsu (Banque Restaurant, Auckland), Angela Hurst (West Auckland Trust Services), Deanna Smith (Negociants NZ), Yvette Kennedy (Café Nero, Palmerston North), Lorenzo Bresolin (The Bresolin, Wellington), Nicola Moss (Centrepoint Liquorland, Invercargill), Dave Aukuso (New World Stonefields, Auckland), Henry Jacobs (Primo Vino, Hamilton).
From front left to right: Wade Perry (Pak N Save Wairau Park, Auckland), Sonja Scarth (Negociants NZ), Michael Collins (New World Birkenhead, Auckland)
We started our whirlwind Barossa trip at the Yalumba nursery where Liam got us skilled up at grafting and we got amongst the ancient Grenache vines. At the mothership, we enjoyed the fascinating barrel bending demonstration, followed by a fabulous tour of the Yalumba Museum and Signature cellar where Kevin Glastonbury and Jacinta Gibson treated us to a tasting of the Yalumba Rare, Fine & Distinguished labels. Our day wrapped up at cooking school, making pasta with Matteo from Casa Carboni, where Nick Waterman, Sam Wigan and Jacinta Gibson joined us for dinner.
At the Henschke Hill of Grace vineyard, Emma Nicholson, "a walking Historian" treated us to loads of Barossa history followed by a fantastic cellar tour and tasting. A nice surprise when Stephen Henschke walked into the room, who happily shared five generations of family history. Rockford was a real eye opener and it felt like stepping back in time using traditional winemaking techniques! A real thrill. We were all blown away by the place and wines. John and Tim Duval treated us to a beautiful tasting and it was great to try their white wines. We were then spoilt with a stunning lunch at the gorgeous Artisans restaurant.
We also visited Langmeil and James Lindner reports on the visit as below:
“A visit to Langmeil was part of their Barossa induction, this started with experiencing some time amongst what is believed to be the oldest surviving Shiraz vineyard in the world, Langmeil’s 1843 Freedom Shiraz vineyard and also tasting a pre-release sample of the 2015 vintage. Then the crew went to see how Langmeil hand crafts their wines through open fermentation and basket pressing.
From there it was a sit down tasting where we focused on Langmeil’s Barossa premium reds.
Another highlight was a special competition at the local historic Kegel Club, est 1858 making it the longest continuous Kegel club in the southern hemisphere. Champion of the day was Deanna Smith.
Much fun was had by all.”
Day 2 wrapped up with a pub dinner and quiz night at the Clubhouse – so much fun! Thanks to James Lindner, Marc van Halderen & Carolyn Macleod for taking the time out to join us.
Louisa Rose treated us to a fabulous Viognier breakfast, proving that Viognier matches just about every food! Following a Yalumba Samuels Garden range tasting in the family room, Louisa escorted us around Pewsey Vale vineyard, despite being in the middle of vintage, topped off with a fabulous barbecue lunch at Heggies Landing! After such a massive history intake, Oxford Landing was quite a surprise and awesome in its scale. We finished our day with an introduction to Martys Block, delightful new release wines, followed by a stunning dinner at Vintners Restaurant, where we were joined by Louisa again, whom possibly does not sleep!
Our entire trip was amazing for so many reasons, the vineyards, the history, the wine, the food, the hospitality, but mostly the people we met. Our family just got a little bit bigger.
Negociants NZ Area Manager – Auckland Off Premise
Negociants NZ Area Manager – Bay of Plenty & Waikato