Category: Blue Earth Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Rosé

Harvesting – Is it the best time of the season?

Usually the answer is yes, but sometimes it has been challenging.

There are a few harvests that really stand out in our memory.  One of them was our first harvest.  We were still at the naive and inexperienced stage.  We had been walking up and down admiring this beautiful fruit for weeks.  Then the harvesting crew came in with a professional eye.  Fruit that wasn’t good enough was dropped.  Fruit that showed any sign of not being ripe enough was ignored.  Shoulders on bunches were cut off, as they weren’t ripe enough to go into the wine.  Berries which the birds had pecked through the nets were flicked off. 

“If you really want to make good wine…”

I learnt to dread, and welcome, these words.  They came from Paul Mason, our wonderful winemaker.  Over the years, Paul has walked through our vineyard many times with us and been an important teacher.  He emphasized that good fruit was essential to making good Pinot Noir, and each time he would point out something else that might make a difference. He would say “If you really want to make good wine then you need to …”  I’d respond “Really?  People actually do that?”  But once you know, and you are a little obsessive like I am, then how do you not do it?

Celebrating 25 Years – March 2024

It is 25 years since we started planting our vineyard. Each month we are reflecting on our journey and sharing some of our stories and our older wines. This month we are recalling some of the trials and tribulations of our early harvests.

Blue Earth Estate vineyard from the hill behind.  Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes and olives

Finally, a harvest

We got there eventually, but it was rocky road.

For our first harvest, we battled wasps. We only had nine rows producing that first year, so every grape was precious. The nets were on to protect the grapes from birds. The weather forecast was looking promising. And then the wasps arrived. Whole bunches of grapes were smothered in wasps who managed to pierce holes in the ripe fruit and then hollow out the berries so only the skin remained.

Celebrating 25 Years – February 2024

It is 25 years since we started planting our vineyard. Each month we are reflecting on our journey and sharing some of our stories and our older wines. Last month we wrote about how we got started. This month is about what we did after Bill Brink, the wine maker who talked us into having a vineyard, died.

Planting pinot noir grapes for Blue Earth Estate

What do novices do when they are left a vineyard?

They take a deep breath, then go and ask for help. Our first step was to identify a winery whose wine we liked, that was big enough to want more grapes, but small enough that we wouldn’t get lost in a crowd.

Celebrating 25 Years – January 2024

It is 25 years since we started planting our vineyard.  This year we will reflect each month on our journey and share some of our stories with you, both trials and triumphs.  Alongside this, we will be opening up our cellar and making some of our library stock available.  So keep an eye out for your favourite vintages, varietals or bottle sizes.  

Digging holes for first vineyard planting for Blue Earth Estate

So how did we get started?

Mike fell in love with Martinborough many years ago when we took our children camping in the Wairarapa.  He started a long campaign to get us to buy a small block of land where we could plant some native trees and relax. 

Good advice for visiting the Wairarapa

Cameron Douglas’s good advice for visiting the Wairarapa.

“I recommend two-three full days are needed to explore the region properly. With huge smiles and welcoming hospitality in so many places, great wine, in fact, fine wine alongside some excellent dining options, a trip to the Wairarapa should be a destination goal for 2022.”