“Consistently Classy Highly Drinkable wines”, Michael Cooper
Working in agriculture has its own pace. The seasons never stop advancing. The rhythm is always the same but different. Here we are again: Spring. Was it that long since we had harvest? This is not a cycle we can either stop or get off, we just keep pedalling.
We are now certified organic (BioGro) in 9.5 ha of the vineyard, the balance (13 ha) is in its second year of conversion. Though it’s creating a lot of work we are thrilled to see the amount of life entering the soil in the more recently converted area. It’s as though this part of the vineyard is sighing with relief. Meanwhile compost has been made and spread. Everything is becoming verdant.
On the wine front we released our latest vintages at the winter solstice. An auspicious time for us as one growing season moves into the next. The wines were really well received, The Churton 2010 Sauvignon Blanc continues along the path of a bone dry, tightly wound style with texture and length and not merely aromatics. The Churton 2009 Pinot Noir is in, Sam’s view, our best yet: very structured and savoury but with great fruit complexity, layers and length. Then there is the first release Churton Voignier, 2010 it was barrel fermented in large 600L Demi Muids. It’s produced a weighty, textured wine with wonderful intensity of dried apricots and white flowers.
Michael Cooper’s Review
Michael Cooper the top NZ wine journalist recently wrote in The Listener: “Sam Weaver’s Churton…produces consistently classy highly drinkable wines” See the full interview and review here And Bob Campbell and Huon Hooke gave the 2010 Churton Sauvignon Blanc 5 stars and 94 points “concentrated weighty Sauvignon Blanc…long and linear”
Our latest family members Constance and Florence (Red Devon heifers) calved under the gentle supervision of Kevin from the vineyard.
Their offspring Bonnie and Horace are growing like weeds and frolicking around the home block with their attentive mum’s. Their elder siblings, last years steers have been grazing happily in the rows in the vineyard. They are doing so well on our interrow herbage that they are verging on the obese.
Sam at Taruna College
Sam has been studying the Taruna College course in Organic and Biodynamic agricultural, in between numerous market visits. Apart from learning to sing in harmony (he now goes round the vineyard humming to the vines) it’s led to a few interesting experiments and trials. There is the experimental compost heap or loaf of bread (Hovis, for those brought up in England) that was put together with a variety of wild and woolly ingredients. (Grape marc, sea weed, leaf litter, Chook manure, cow dung, hay and various bits of garden waste). Then the vines that appear with tags on them that are being closely monitored with observations recorded on a regular basis.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were all complaining about the coldest winter we’ve ever had. Snow in the vineyard for the first time. It’s unheard of to have snow lying in Marlborough, certainly not for 40 years or more.
The snow’s now a distant memory; we are well into spring and all our spring routines, soil applications cultivating and drilling in readiness for the new season. The cycle keeps on turning.