Totally Paloozed

By Andrew Donaldson
Totally Paloozed

Our year is ending on an intoxicating high - the great disrupter Dan Sims told us the other night that we had won Peoples Choice for the entire 2018 Pinot Palooza Tour. That is the knock down, stand out highlight of our young life as a winegrower and let me explain. 

When we released our first labeled vintage, the 2012, we gave away most of it in 2-packs to our friends with a note saying that we hoped that they would enjoy one of the bottles and if they did could they give the other to one of their friends.  We said that we were making pinot for “our friends and for their friends”.  Some may think that contrived, for us it is not.  We make pinot for lovely, gorgeous, shiny people to drink and enjoy – that’s it.

As complete oenological novices we had no idea what to expect from the world of fine wine – none at all.  Now we do, and as one mentor said “Andrew, in this gig you have to kiss a lot of frogs”.  Well, I’ve been kissing frogs all my working life and I can assure all that wine world variants are a damn sight nicer and meaningfully more interesting than others encountered – albeit that some are still frogs.

Seeking 90+ points, 5 stars, gold medals and trophies for your wine is just something I suspect you have to do as an aspiring winegrower – but it has never been our purpose.  That remains to make the best wine we sensibly can from the weather we receive in this blessed place called Wanaka, Central Otago.

But in the above are the reasons why the Pinot Palooza recognition is so exciting. We just loved pouring wine direct into people’s glasses and hearing what they had to say and what they wanted to know.  We gave proper second pours (sorry Dan) to anyone that used words like yummy, gorgeous and succulent.  The word sexy was even more generously treated! 

To win in Sydney and Melbourne amongst all those sensational pinot labels – many our heroes – left us a little numb, stunned.  To win overall Peoples Choice for 2018 beats every brilliant review, every gold medal and every trophy we have ever won because our wine is for drinking and to be so well supported by those gorgeous shiny happy people that came to all those fabulous Paloozas leaves us humbled yet wildly ecstatic for the years ahead.  Thank you – have a very Merry Christmas.