The dinner of dinners at Mountford Estate was for Winston's Birthday. Winston, Mountford Estate Winemaker CP Lin's seeing eye dog, turned 5. Each year on his birthday, CP organizes a large dinner party filled with great wines and food and this evening was no exception, from the guest chef to the food to the wines!
It was another beautiful day in Waipara. With the unusally seasonal Nor'wester winds blowing, there was a warm, dry wind all day while we worked. The Nor'wester winds are the result of warm air movement off the Tasman Sea that comes over the Southern Alps, dropping the water over the Alps and leaving dry air that blows over the Canterbury plains.
I have always wanted to work harvest and learn about the winemaking process hands-on. I finally got the chance when my friend and winemaker CP Lin of Mountford Estate invited me to come to Waipara, New Zealand for the 2012 harvest.
Mountford Estate is owned by Kathryn Ryan and Kees Zeestraten, a wonderful couple who bought the property in 2007. With 10 planted hectares (approximately 25 acres), Mountford Estate grows Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Muscat. Producing 4500 cases of wine, they produce 5 Pinot Noirs (3 single vineyard), 1 Chardonnay, 1 Riesling and a single vineyard Alsatian blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Muscat).