"New Zealand Syrah Quality Continues To Forge Ahead."
NEW ZEALAND SYRAH
Bayview Chateau Tongariro, Mt Ruapehu
28 February 2013
“New Zealand Syrah Quality Continues To Forge Ahead.”
The 9th Annual New Zealand Syrah Workshop, held at the Bayview Chateau Tongariro from the 13 to 15 February, with Bob Bertheau, Senior Director of Winemaking, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State, USA as the International Guest Speaker. He was joined by local speakers Dr Alan Limmer and Gerard Logan.
Bob believes that “the New Zealand Syrah Workshop was a one of a kind opportunity to interact, taste wine, socialize and ultimately connect with a new group of winemakers and a wine growing community that I now feel a real part of. As the "International Speaker," I was a little tentative at first not knowing how this group of winemakers was going to see this outsider.”
“As the hours and days went on, however, I felt the camaraderie grow and the openness of the forum in this remote location begin to take hold of me, ultimately making me feel a part of the group, regardless of my home town or style of wines I was presenting. I really enjoyed the combination of tasting, technical presentations and very frank dialogue that the workshop format allowed. I would recommend this type of industry interaction to anyone who can leave the egos at the door and just talk about grapes and wine in a beautiful "off site" venue at the base of Mt. Ruapehu. The food and wine at the amazing dinners wasn't such a bad deal either............”
Bob’s comments sum up the purpose of the biannual Workshop to bring together winegrowers in New Zealand to study and improve both viticultural and oenological practices as they apply to the variety Syrah.
This year’s Convenor, Paul Dawick, Mills Reef Winery, says “the Syrah Workshop has become a vital winemaker’s tool. After a couple of difficult vintages it was exciting to see the quality of Syrah produced. From Waiheke, Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough and down to Marlborough, winemakers gathered to problem solve and exchange ideas to see how Syrah can progress to be New Zealand’s next top wine. Only time will tell now, to see how great Syrah will become. We will find out in 2015, 11-13 February, when the next Syrah Workshop happens.”