Tuesday 7 April
I used to dream of owning my own vineyard while I sat in my Melbourne office surrounded by paperwork. I loved my job but always yearned for the chance to be involved in the magic process called winemaking. This yearning first started when I was at Auckland University and met Bruce Collard of Collard Wines, one of the first New Zealand wineries to focus on classic varietal wines. On occasions I would visit the winery with Bruce and developed a love for good wine; first as a consumer, but then I got thinking about actually making the stuff.
Luckily I did not think about the hard work and costs to come! So, over the years while I was living in Australia I thought more and more about it until, with the encouragement of my wife Jill, we purchased our first vineyard in 1986. This was just a small 2 hectare block in the heart of Martinborough which has come to be regarded as the home of premium New Zealand Pinot Noir. From that humble beginning, we now have over 25 hectares of our own and several fantastic growers who supply us with great fruit. Our winery is located at our Blue Rock vineyard, which we purchased in September 1998. The winery is located in a stunning setting on the banks of the Dry River where we also have a café and our cellar door.
We are just about to start our 10th vintage and I started thinking about all the highs and lows of the last 10 years and felt it was a pity that we had not shared that with those who love our wines.
Hence this page on our website! We are going to start a diary of events at Murdoch James starting with the first pick of grapes for the 2009 Vintage. Log on from time to time and follow with us the joy (and sometimes the frustration) of owning a vineyard. We will post candid comments about events and our experiences as we wrestle with the challenges of making ever better wines year after year, in partnership with Mother Nature.
We are a small family owned that prides itself in making boutique wines that will appeal to wine lovers who have discerning tastes and a passion for the highest quality. In other words, these are not every-day high volume wine labels that would typically cater to the mass market.
Share Vintage 2009 and the rest of the year with us, and feel free to make contact and send encouragement or ask questions! We love to be in contact with folk who enjoy fine wine.
In vino veritas!
Roger Fraser, co-owner, Murdoch James Estate