Fo woin friens who arn't veryy familiaa with the Aussie woin speectrum thiis one myght be quoit a surproiis! Ohhh no ... okay, okay I stop my pathetic (and probably quite offensive) attempt to sound like a local. Sometimes it is really hard to find a good start - and you simply come up with bonkers ideas! Today, I most certainly failed! Anyway, the first time I've heard of this Kanta Riesling - it must be about seven years ago - it surely was a big surprise to me. Egon Müller - (one of) the biggest name(s) in the Riesling business – better try to delete the words in the brackets – producing Riesling in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia!? Okay, it is not like that Egon Müller himself is managing the every day business of this project. This Kanta (= sanskrit for beloved) project is actually a joint-venture between Egon Müller from the sacrosanct Scharzhof in Saar Valley and Adelaide's Michael Andrewartha of East End Cellars. So, the main responsibility for today's Riesling was in the hands of Michael. The actual Balhannah Vineyard though belongs to the well known Shaw & Smith wine company in Balhannah. A third party. The soils of the vineyard are dominated by sandy loam over red clay and are set about an average altitude of 420 metres. Spontaneous fermentation and long maceration were also on the agenda. So, let's have our first sip of this very interesting project Riesling ...
Remember movies like The Piano, Jurassic Park or The Hunt for Red October? What do these pictures all have in common? Any idea? Well, if you have good eyesight and look at the admittingly tiny photo above a bit closer you might recognize a gentleman. The gentleman to the left. Of course the one on the label, not the one in the background who seems to take his Fido out for an early morning walk in Kensington Gardens. This very gentleman is the - let's say - „unifying dimenson“ with the name: Sam Neill. A still very well known actor from New Zealand who started the Two Paddocks winery as proprietor in 1993 near Gibbston in Central Otago by planting 5 acres of Burgundian Pinot Noir clones. By the way, you can check out his true passion for Pinot Noir in a number of really funny clips on the winery's website. Now back to history: About the same time his friend Roger Donaldson planted another vineyard right next door. Hence the name for the winery was born: Two Paddocks! Since the late 1990s production increased significantly. Since then Two Paddocks produces up to five Pinot Noirs (depending on the vintage) each year. Since 2003 Two Paddocks also produces two Rieslings from Red Bank vineyard in the Alexandra Basin in the south of Central Otago. From a European perspective the true end of the wineworld! A part of today's entry-level Pinot Noir from 2012 with the well fitting name Picnic comes also from this very southern area around Alexandra. The grapes for the Picnic were harvested by hand, up to 85% were de-stemmed and were given a 5 to 7 days of cold maceration. Fermentation on skins with indigenous yeasts took another 5 to 7 days. Afterwards the Picnic was aged for 10 months in 1 to 4 year old French medium toasted barriques. Well, let's have our first sip of this very very distant Pinot Noir ….