The smell of pinot being crushed, beginning to ferment and hot cross buns is totally synonymous in our family. Easter is occasion around which we all dance, juggling school holidays, pickers, and family feasts.
True to form a later Easter this year has coincided with a late start to picking. Collective intelligence around the traps suggests Central Otago is in full swing, Marlborough and Nelson just starting, Wairarapa/Martinborough and Waipara Valley holding off until early next week.
Those still waiting for the first load to arrive in the winery have interns and international staff in place and doing jobs in the vineyard, filling holes in roads, cleaning …. anything to keep them busy.
The last minute starting gates invariable contain an important piece of winery equipment being installed for someone, totally thankful for every last hour. The rules are being set, protocols laid out, cooks tested for skills that will make or break the next two months or so.
And then there’s the music……
It may seem trivial, but I have yet to walk into a winery where the vibe isn’t set, the culture isn’t defined by the music you hear. During vintage it becomes more than background noise, it’s the metronome the sets the pace and rhythm of the most important time of year.
Invariably the conductor is the winemaker. Matt Connell, winemaker at Akarua in Central Otago uses Pacifier or Red Hot Chilli Peppers to set the tone for the day. He also decides the play list to cull out strange foreign techno as he puts it. A distinct advantage of being the boss. NZ Wine lover and sommelier Robert Giorgione has fond memories of the Chilli Peppers setting the theme music to his vintage experiences.
The nationalities of the team are reflected in the music to differing degrees. The trans-tasman duo of Jason & Anna Flowerday at Te Whare Ra Wines in Marlborough determine the ANZAC playlist which includes John Butler, Ladi6, The Naked and Famous. No doubt each side claims the best music as their own.
Greystone Wines assistant winemaker Gavin Tait takes on the DJ role, but is considerate enough to offer it up to any likely imports that prove they have taste in music as the vintage progresses. He reckons something upbeat to plunge to, rock music when racking & filtering, and barrel topping needs chill out music.
For those of you who know Mat Donaldson from Pegasus Bay winery it will come as no surprise there is a strong culture of music in the winery. He recommends dishing up breakbeats on the sorting table, progressive or proghouse in the evening and psychedelic trance around midnight!
In true kiwi style never underestimate the room that can be found for a sense of humour in the playlist. Perhaps a little “The Worst Hangover Ever” by The Offspring but hopefully not too much of this, suggested by Prophet Rock’s winemaker Paul Pujol:
Someone turn up the volume…….Filed under Music
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