Lance Blumhardt is the founder, viticulturist, winemaker, cellar door pourer, sales manager, tractor driver and odd-job man. Coming late in life to winegrowing, a background in science, geology and medicine have proved handy in studies of the vineyard terroir and the art and science of winemaking.
Luciana Pelosi, who hails originally from Taurasi, the most famous Aglianico DOCG in Italy, is the most frequent taster of my wines with a critical palate that can always be relied on.
Recently, we received another gift from Italy when Adrian Dumitru arrived from La Sorvana – a wonderful estate in Toscana – where he was on the viticultural team. Its great to have his boundless energy and expertise in the vineyard. Thanks to Giuseppe and Riccardo at La Sorvana who let Adriano come to New Zealand!
In 2011 – a challenging vintage on Waiheke with inclement weather at the wrong time – an expert vine physiologist, experienced vintner and international viticultural consultant arrived out of the blue and offered his help. Its not often that a small family vineyard can share such international expertise with such famous estates as Ornelaia, Sassicaia, La Sorvana, Frescobaldi, Mondavi, Francis Ford Coppola and Stags Leap – to name but a few that he advises every year. Danny Schuster, co-author of the famous text, ‘Grape Growing and Winemaking in a Cool Climate’, which has been obligatory reading for Oenology students worldwide for many years, has been fine tuning our vineyard with all his worldly expertise; the resulting quality is there for all to experience.
And that is everyone in the ‘team’, apart from Neko the vineyard cat, rescued from a dubious back alley in Nottingham, who is known to all our visitors and kept me company up every row of the vineyard trellis ……well OK, when it was fine! C’mon, I am a cat – damn it!