I am very excited to reveal my next new wine style release, Summertime Gisborne Chardonnay. This is made from some beautiful Clone 15 grapes from the legendary Judd Estate vineyard in Patutahi.
My first ever vintage was in Gizzy, waaaay back in 1981, after spending an idyllic summer camping on Makorori Beach. Halcyon days those were, but the party had to run out of steam eventually, and work was a necessary evil. But fortune smiled on me, and I lucked into a job in the lab, working alongside the winemaking team. Well, the rest is history, I fell in love with wine and the winegrowing, a passion that still burns bright today.
So returning to Gizzy with the purpose of making a wine under my Indie label has been a delight, more so because I coerced Richard Brimer to come with me on the roadie and catch some iconic Gisborne images. we had such a great day, the weather gods smiled, and so it was a perfect cloudless windless day, much as preserved in my memories of former camping life.
Mid-February, Sunday, Wainui Beach under perfect conditions…not exactly crowded. Beautiful does not say adequately describe this place. around the corner to Tatapouri and there on the boat ramp, met this fellow fishing with a rod and bait, old school style, just flinging the line into the water of the end of the ramp. Tally after half an hour was two kahawai, a tarakihi and a crayfish! Brilliant. No flash boat in sight.
A bit further around, we came across some fairly “settled in” campers on a gorgeous point with million dollar views in all directions. We chatted away, and learnt a bit about the lovely Ropahi family, who had been camping in this same spot for well over 20 years, enjoying several months a year in paradise. Kai moana at their doorstep, the soothing melody of waves on the beach, and whanau. Simplicity of living, and a spiritual connection with land and sea. The parents worked as alcohol and drug counsellors, giving back to the community and caring for those in need. It is humbling to meet such beautiful people, who give without taking, care without needing, accept without judgement. It was a privilege for Richard and I to spend some time with these people, our thanks for the welcome.
The Tony Bish “Summertime" Gisborne Chardonnay 2015 has been released in October. The inspiration for this wine came from fond memories of singing my kids to sleep at the bach, to the lullaby Summertime by Billie Holiday. Drink responsibly, with kai moana and friends.
Ka kite ano