Les 5 du Vin

5 journalistes parlent du vin

New Zealand memories (part 1)

11 Commentaires

Man of War Vineyards,  Waiheke Island 


Rippon Vineyard, Central Otago


In November 2007 the Circle of Wine Writers made two week trip to the vineyards and wineries of New Zealand. Apart from getting ourselves there the trip was very generously sponsored by the New Zealand Winegrowers.

It proved to be an amazing trip starting in Auckland towards the top of North Island and finishing in Otago before a final evening at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards in Christchurch. Unfortunately in terms of reciprocal coverage this trip came a year or two too early before the widespread adoption of blogs, Facebook and Twitter meaning that our visit to New Zealand didn’t get the exposure it really deserved. For instance, I didn’t launch my Jim’s Loire blog for another nine months – end of August 2008.

Time, then, for some pictorial memories. This week – North Island

Timo Jokinen (CWW) with Milan Brajkovich (Kumea River)

missionHistoric Mission Estate, Hawkes Bay  
established in 1851 

john-buckJohn Buck, Te Mata, Hawkes Bay

Tim Turvey, Clearview, Hawkes Bay

vineyardhawkes-bayHawkes Bay vineyard

john-hancockJohn Hancock, Trinity Hill, Hawkes Bay

Martinborough – Larry McKenna’s Escarpment Vineyard 

larry-mckennaLarry McKenna 

jamilltonbsJames and Annie Millton, Millton Vineyard, Gisborne
New Zealand’s Chenin Blanc champion – long-time biodynamic producer






Auteur : Les 5 du Vin

Journalistes en vin

11 réflexions sur “New Zealand memories (part 1)

  1. Page introuvable ?

    Envoyé de mon iPad



  2. article New Zealand inaccessible !…


  3. 1) I’m sorry to have, once again, to sound trivial.
    I thought Canada (part of it) was New Found Land, not New Zealand (« introuvable »).
    2) More seriously: this article is the first I read which states, in full honestly, that publication – be it on the net or onto « real » paper – is the « reward » one trades in for a visit to a wine-producing area. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it is recognized and acknowledged, as you do, Jim. Yet, it remains unfair towards those who cannot afford to accomodate and/or charter and cater for that many people. I think the difference in quality – apart for the size of the market and the cohort of readers – between wine press in English and its homologue in French is partly due to that. English speaking wine-writers, in due Weber’s style, are expected to systematically produce a professional description of their visit, whereas most French (or Belgian, or Swiss) journalists make a pleasant trip and call at « friends’ « , with the occasional (benevolent) report that goes with it


    • Luc, it’s a little too easy to draw a line between the good honest Brits and the crooked French, Belgian and Swiss in wine writing.
      I can find counter-examples on both sides.
      I for one never go on a trip without thinking I can write afterwards – after all, I live on the articles I can sell. But at times, I am disappointed and can’t find a lot to write on some trips.
      And speaking about friends in the wine business: yes, there are people I like better than others in this trade; and there are even a few friends, I guess (although I will never know if we would still be friends if I left this job). Anyway, when I am writing, there are no friends, just wines, for I don’t write for the producers but for the readers.


      • Hervé. I think we both realise that Luc’s vision is coloured by the Rivière. I agree that his dichotomy of cultures is too sweeping and broad brush. Clearly there are UK ‘writers’ who go on trips who don’t write anything afterwards, although they are likely to find trips drying up pretty rapidly and many writers outside the UK who report extensively on trips thay have taken. Incidentally the CWW trip to New Zealand was multi-national.


  4. Luc. You can call it ‘reward’. I prefer obligation. If I take a trip then I think there is an obligation to communicate about your visit whether it be in text, pictures, video etc. and whether this is in a hard copy magazine or on the net – a blog, Facebook, Twitter etc. The invitation to visit is extended to communicators and not to tourists. Furthermore this was a visit under the auspices of The Circle of Wine Writers. It is also a waste of my working time to spend time on a visit and write nothing about it.

    I also feel an obligation to report on what I find and to be free to write freely with no pressure to produce a paean of praise or ‘benevolent’ report if it is not justified.


  5. I agree for your choice of « obligation », as a proper word, Jim. And so it should be. And I also accept my description of the « protestant » (because that’s what is a at stake) as opposed to the « Mediterranean » attitude is not as clear cut as that. But, if you don’t generalize (and hence simplify) a bit, you cannot depict any situation. I also mentioned that the size of the readers’ group is also different. How many so-called « wine-writers » have you got in Belgium alone? A huge number, and you do see them in the field. As for the Frenchies, you know my opinion.


    • Oups (hoops?), published too early again. I continue. As Hervé so rightly observes, most « articles » seen in this country (F) are about people and buildings and personal anecdotes, and very little about the wines themselves. What do people buy, in the end, or contemplate buying? The gossip about church towers and bells (belles?) and boundaries and extension of an appellation or the scarlet (or golden, let alone onion-coloured) liquid in its glass?


  6. Pingback: New Zealand memories (part 2) | Les 5 du Vin

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