E’Sensual Central

It’s been too long between visits and boy am I pleased to be here, flying into Queenstown on a clear winter day is just magic. I am here for a Central Otago event, E’Sensual Central Otago, joined by a vibrant group of hospo folk from many corners of the world, a wine writer from Germany and a retailer from across the ditch.

The schedule has us look at central sub regionally, day one is all about Gibbston Valley – including a bungy for those brave enough (not for me). We started the day at Mt Edward where Duncan Forsyth and Grant Taylor shared their vast combined knowledge of the area. The tasting looked in pairs at the various subregions from 2006 through to 2011, the stand outs for me were the Rippon 2008 (Wanaka) Burn Cottage 2010 (Lowburn) and Mount Edward Morrison 2011 (Wanaka road). Whilst an interesting look at the sub regions, this tasting showed for me the difference of the vintages clearly and the vast improvements in winemaking skill and experience.

Lunch was at Peregrine, where we were treated to a viticulture talk and compost visit – great smell. Prior to lunch Nadine Cross has prepared three wines, same vintage and all crafted by her, yet all from different sub regions – Bendigo, Gibbston and Lowburn – this was a fascinating look at the sub regions taking vintage and winemaker out of the equation.

20130729-234258.jpgPrior to dinner, we had a Gibbston tasting presented by Chris Keys in the back of the Gibbston Winery Cave. The biggest learning was the different aspects primarily due to altitude within this sub region, the higher the more florals and herbal notes, the lower the firmer tannin structure ( generalizations, but interesting)

Dinner at Gibbston winery was a lovely finish to the day, tomorrow we move to review Cromwell’s delights.