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Masterclass Seeks the Perfect Pinot

Masterclass Seeks the Perfect Pinot

Winemaker, Jeremy McKenzie, has produced the ultimate in party games.

The senior winemaker at Villa Maria has taken the enjoyment of blind tasting to a new level by encouraging his masterclass to blend their own wines before deciding what Pinot Noir displays the best qualities and taste.

As part of a Luxury Jazz Weekend at Bay Of Many Coves from October 12-14, Jeremy will take his invited guests through the distinctive qualities of Pinot Noir grapes from five different Villa Maria Estate Marlborough vineyards before enabling them to blend the wine together to produce a special drop.

Jeremy will bring his equipment with him and then challenge the novice winemakers to use the blending kit, measuring cylinder, recording instruments, bottles and Kiwi knowhow to produce a Pinot Noir that will rank with the best that Marlborough has to offer.

He reminds his masterclass to be mindful of retaining the intensity of Pinot Noir varietal character, incorporate an integrated French oak backbone and fine acidity to blend a wine that has dark berry and red cherry overtones, subtle dried herb notes and a nice silky finish.

That’s a daunting task for them but the end results should produce some blends with unique perfume properties and intense lasting flavour.

It’s all great fun for people attending the masterclass and another drawcard for the five star Bay Of Many Coves in the Marlborough Sounds, but there’s a serious side for Jeremy.

“I’m always looking for that elusive, special Pinot Noir and new ideas could result when some gifted individual takes the right amount from one vineyard and blends it with 10 or 20 percent from another parcel of land to produce something exciting,” he says.

“We’re always reminded we’re not making wine for ourselves but for our customers and they play an important part in telling us what they like and don’t like. It’s essential for us to listen to them.”

Conducting seminars masterclasses around New Zealand and overseas is part of the rich fabric of Jeremy’s life. But when he’s not talking to people and getting their feedback, he’s playing a pivotal role in producing some of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the world.

“Marlborough is now regarded as the epicentre for Sauvignon Blanc anywhere on our globe and our challenge is to maintain its standard and never lose sight of the quality of our product. We’re always looking to explore the boundaries but retain what is true to Marlborough,” he says.

“Our Pinot Noirs are consistently being regarded as the next big thing and have an exciting future. We believe we have found some of the best soils and sites to grow the fickle grape.”

Jeremy’s masterclasses are in regular demand and the next opportunity is at the exclusive Bay of Many Coves resort from October 12-14.

Jeremy will be part of an impressive line-up that includes Hot Club Sandwich and international jazz violinist, Fiona Pears who’ll play performance and background jazz throughout the weekend.

Prices for the October 12-14 Luxury Jazz Weekend start from $965 per person.

Phone: +64 3 5799 777
Fax: +64 3 5799 777

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