Wine. Making wine. Loving wine it’s all in my vocabulary and so mixing this with one of the most beautiful destinations and places to stay (hello Kinross) I literally picked up my corkscrew (see, what do I know? So much to learn) and jumped in my car to the first of many Winemaker’s Weekends.
Kinross combines beautiful boutique accommodation (gorgeous cabins alert) with wine tasting, cellar door and bistro and for the months of July- Oct they are offering Winemaker’s Weekends. A whole weekend dedicated to wine, wineries and the wonderful stories behind the people who literally make the magic happen. Chance to sit, sip and listen.
We headed out to their first instalment and on the menu this time; “Old and new world wine with Hawkshead” and in particular the lovely Dennis Marshall. Oh the stories!
Arriving on Friday evening we settled into our gorgeous cabin (with a bed so big I lost my phone charger) complete with the fastest wifi in the west, a bath (you can imagine my glee), kitchen, and vineyard views. Bliss.
We headed over to the General Store where the fire was roaring and settled in for an adventure in wine.
Kinross is set right in the middle of Gibbston Valley (Valley of Vines) and all the wineries and wine you could dream of. They host a number of wines there and also offer wine tasting. Cleverly they’ve created wine tasting around testing the different glasses we can drink out of (glass, plastic, shaped). There’s no pomp or circumstance just good old information about if you like it, you like it.
I like it. Alot of it.
Saturday dawned fresh (a lovely -5C) and there was breakfast to be had. Pastries, hot coffee, porridge and eggs. We then spent the day wandering the trails, some work (boooooo) and getting ready to fill our bellies with the winemaker’s feast that evening.
Dinner time arrived and we were presented with a three course wine match extravaganza. Interjected with information about the wine from Dennis and a gorgeous welcome from host Lizzie of Kinross, the group of diners were treated like family. This place has something very very special.
Conversations turned to wine (of course) and stories of where we all lived, came from, our families. Growing up in Queenstown, UK, Australia, further reaches of New Zealand we all came to the same conclusion; we love wine and we love being together over good food and lovely surroundings. This is truly a weekend you shouldn’t miss.
The food was delicious, all cleverly prepared by the team at Kinross and paired with Pinot Noirs, Rieslings and Pinot Gris from Hawshead. My favourite? The Bannockburn Pinot Noir. Full bodied and perfect for a cold night by the fire.
Lizzie and Adam (Kinross) have created a community of wine lovers and local folk (everyone, no matter where you come from, is local here) who enjoy each others company. There’s talk of yoga classes in the week, cinema for the kids on a Friday. Stories, laughter and coziness. These weekends are where you can settle in for the night and really make some new friends. Everyone is welcome. No
wine one is left out.
Truly something special that you shouldn’t miss out on. (The other thing you shouldn’t miss out on is the vanilla syrup and candied walnuts for dessert). See I told you you’d love it.
Kinross Wine Maker’s Weekends
28-30th July: Then & Now. How Central Otago wine has developed in the 30 years since our first commercial vintage.
Wild Irishman: Alan Brady (DO NOT MISS)
18-20th Aug: The diversity of Otago & its sub-regions
Valli: Grant Taylor
15-17th Sept: A Woman’s Touch
Coal Pit: Lynn Horton
6-8 Oct: Biodynamics
Domaine Thomson: Claudio Heye
I was hosted by Kinross Cottages but as always my views are my own.