Excerpt from “Thumbs Up – Down Under” by Jon Porter 1 November 2009.
“…The third winery won our top prize and our money. This was a very small winery called Jurassic Ridge. The name comes not from the movie but from the owner who is an English geologist.* He likes to discuss the age of the rock upon which the island sits on and how it was formed. This unusual terroir immediately conjures up images of large dinosaurs but he tells me that nothing lived at this time except small invertebrates.** His wife is an Italian urologist*** who is very involved in the business when not checking out other liquids. They also grow olives and have their own olive press, which creates a wonderful olive oil, now proudly conveyed back to the USA to be consumed by friends and family.” The wines were the best I tasted on the island with the winner being a Montepulciano, which is not grown anywhere else on Waiheke.**** The tasting was impressive and took me back to Italy and the hands of the Italian wife were definitely involved in creating this wonderful robust red”. *****
NB However, some ever so slight corrections are required for the hilarious bits above;
*…Actually a Kiwi neurologist! .
**Nope – that’s not the case – its just that our Jurassic alpine greywackes are not macrofossiliferous – there is a rich diversity of Jurassic life forms in other rocks of this period of course.
***Nope – she is a neurologist who unfortunately has no time to dabble in fluids of any sort, but did want to partake of our favourite Italian wine!
****Again no – there is a very good one from Obsidian winery and much more being planted as this variety suits the island which is why we grow it!
*****The Winemaker’s comment – no comment!!
“…to Jurassic Ridge and Lance (a former neurologist and amateur geologist) who now has a winery and does most of the work by himself. Single grape type in a bottle is his philosophy – stunning attention to detail creates some stunning wines – we bought some!!! “.
Excerpt from “Annenige on tour! Waiheke Wine”, 8th December 2009.
“How many of us have been seduced by a gorgeous label, and an enticing description on a wine bottle, only to be left wanting by its contents? Living on, or visiting, Waiheke Island, you never more than 10-15 minutes from a cellar door so this scenario can be avoided. My obsession about trying new wines is equally met, on this island, by people that are driven to make them. Standing in the place where the vines are grown staring at those garnet and citrine orbs full of potential panacea, you can forget the huge labour that goes into this business. At harvest time it is a battle with the weather to get these precious vessels into tank or barrel at the peak time before nature does them more harm than good. At the cellar door you can learn so much more about the wine and the passion that brought it into being. This week’s wine match was made by one of these brave people who turned his dream into reality. Lance Blumhardt of Jurassic Ridge spent his precious time with me explaining his wines and the vagaries of his vineyard site, where they pride themselves on their single vineyard varietals and sustainable practices. The Jurassic Ridge Cabernet Franc ‘08 has a soft sweet herbaceous edge and finds a soul mate in the delicious olive Mediterranean tart. The ripe fruit flesh of this wine is a compliment to the fresh harvest vegetables and together they lead you down the garden path. There we find the soft notes in the wine of violets and lavender. The saltiness of the capers, olives, and feta balance nicely with the tannic structure and stylish oak of this generous inky Cabernet Franc. This wine had no fining and minimal filtration, which can strip out some of the finer aromas, and is a true representation of where it is grown. Jurassic Ridge’s cellar door is open 7 days from 11-4pm . They also produce Pinot Grigio, Syrah, Syrah Rose and their trophy winning Montepulciano. They are one driveway along from the Mudbrick in Church Bay. Church Bay was also named Hangaura which means ‘to make red’ so it is fitting that red wine is being made here. It can also mean to make red the sky, so as the sun goes down this is the perfect time to drink this wine. To sip perchance to dream….”
Linda’s Column Gulf News 31 March 2011.