Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sari and I are delighted to be regular supporters of the annual Nelson Arts Festival that is held in various venues around the region in the second half of October each year. For the last four years we have sponsored a show and each year have been proud to be associated with the performances we have been associated with through Sari’s business, Savage & Savage, Chartered Accountants.
For rather obvious reasons we have been sponsoring shows that take place in wineries and to ensure we make the most of our sponsorship we invite a few people to join us at each performance.
This year Baker Suite performed two shows, one at Founders Park and the other at Neudorf Vineyards. We would like to thank not only the great team who organise the Arts Festival but Tim and Judy Finn who this year handed over their dining room to us so we could have lunch before the show.
Of course over lunch we enjoyed a bottle or two of Neudorf wine; everything from a flavour-filled off-dry merlot rose to the deeply complex 2009 Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir was sampled by our small group. I must say they seemed to enjoy the Moutere Pinot quite a bit!
The previous night at Founders we enjoyed a range of product from the other Arts Festival wine sponsor, Woollaston Estates. Their 2006 Pinot Noir was enjoyed in reasonable but responsible quantities by our small group along with a couple of refreshing Founders Brewery’s Show Hopper III beers.
Arts Festival sponsors like Neudorf and Woollaston’s not only make their outstanding venues available to stage various performances but their sponsorship of this festival and other events during the year add vibrancy and life to the region. Their businesses are about more than just making a product and selling it, they enrich our region.
Another business that also happens to be an Arts Festival sponsor that we can be exceptionally proud of in this region is Page & Blackmore Booksellers. This year they have been named New Zealand’s Best Independent Bookseller and as a direct result of this Michael Cooper will be at their store in November to celebrate his latest book. Cooper is New Zealand’s most respected wine writer and critic so visit and register for their newsletter to ensure you receive the event details when they are finalised. You will need to get a ticket to the event as numbers are limited and there is a rumour there may even be a couple of local wines available for tasting.
Over the next few months I will be visiting as many wineries in the region as I can and intend to tell you about them so you can spend a bit of time this summer searching out some vinous treats to enhance your summer, just like the Nelson Arts Festival and sponsors like Neudorf Vineyards, Woollaston Estates and Page & Blackmore enhance this delightful place we are lucky enough to call home.

I have been drinking

Neudorf Vineyards 2009 Brightwater Riesling - $22.90 at the cellar door
Another classic wine from a classic New Zealand producer. This just off-dry wine has aromas of powdery lime with a hint of sweet orange blossom in the background and vibrant citrus flavours with a delightfully rounded texture in the mouth. A refreshing twist of fresh acidity makes this a mouth watering palate cleanser or the perfect accompaniment to fish and chips on the beach this summer.

Seifried Estate Nelson 2010 Sauvignon Blanc - $21.00 RRP
This is typical Nelson Sauvignon Blanc – ripe tropical fruit flavours with herbaceous capsicum spice and refreshing acidity. Seifried’s has produced yet another delightful wine that is packed with flavour and is oh so easy to drink on a warm summer day. Shop around because you are bound to find this on many supermarket shelves this summer for less than the recommended retail price.

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