It was a stormy night with flashes of lighting and grumbles of thunder as we settled in with Misha’s Vineyard at the Ferrymead golf course.
With the delicious platters on the table we were warmly welcomed by Martz who introduced our vineyard guests.
Misha and Andy of Misha’s vineyard are a dynamic couple with a background in marketing. With an inspiring, “never give up, never surrender” attitude it was a pleasure to listen to their wine journey and taste their beautifully crafted wines.
Misha’s vineyard was born from Misha and Andy’s desire to one day work together. After moving to Auckland from Singapore, they started to attend weekly wine tastings and gained a taste for Pinot Noirs. This resulted in their decision to produce “New Zealand’s best wines” turning their eyes to Central Otago.
It took 2 years to find their piece of Central Otago vine paradise. During a trip around Bendigo station, they came across a piece of land of the edge of Lake Dunstan. The land wasn’t for sale but they ended up buying 57 hectares of frost free, rocky land with rabbits as tenants.
Water was a problem (there was none). Fortunately they discovered a 1922 statute which gives agricultural rights to water from the Clutha river, a river which now runs at the bottom of Lake Dunstan. Cleverly they approached Contact Energy (who own the lake) and stated – We don’t want water from your lake, but we do have a right to take the water from the river running at the bottom of it. Today a turbine pump runs at the bottom of Lake Dunstan which pumps the water into the vineyard.
Once clearing the rocks, putting up a rabbit proof fence then adding the water, they began to get some amazing vines.
Then it was time to find their winemaker, after a recommendation via Steve Smith, they set about successfully wooing Oliver Masters (Olly) previously from Ata Rangi. Olly was at first resistant but after flying down to view the vineyard he was smitten and has been crafting the wines at Misha’s since.
And so to the tastings!
We began with the whites. Because of Central Otago’s long hot days and the drop in night temperature, there is a good balance of fruit and acidity to the wines. The whites we got to enjoy were:
The Starlet 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
Lyric 2011 Riesling
Limelight 2011 Riesling
The Gallery 2011 Gewurztraminer
Then we were given the pleasure of tasting and comparing their 3 Pinot Noirs. Happy murmuring echoed around the room as we swirled, sniffed and slurped:
Impromptu 2010 Pinot Nior
The High Note 2009 Pinot Nior
Verismo 2009 Pinot Nior
The evening ended with a nod to John Bartlett who will be moving into his new home in Blenheim in the next couple of months. After “somehow” being volunteered to take over this blog from John, I have found his guidance and “you can do it” spirit to be very inspiring. Thanks John, don’t be a stranger!
For those of you reading this and want to come along to a tasting evening, flick an email to Monique at email@example.com and ask to be on the wine tasting email list. It’s a great night of wine, winemaking and great company.