When I was in Picton... A couple of months ago
I met Edel Everling who, with her partner Warwick Foley,
own and operate Johanneshof Cellars.
It is a small artisan boutique winery producing wines
from hand harvested grapes only sourced from their vineyards
and growers in Marlborough in New Zealand's South Island.
I visited with my friend Cathy... We were greeted at the door...
And spent several hours looking... Learning... And tasting!
Below is some of the history from Edel's German family vineyard.
Edel is a fifth generation winemaker from
Ruedesheim, Rheingau, Germany.
She grew up in her family vineyard, playing amongst the vines
and learning about them from a young age.
She studied for her degree in Viticulture and Oenology
at Geisenheim University in Germany.
Edel combines the old arts of winemaking with modern technology.
A modern laboratory ensures control of fermentations but is not
a substitute for regular organoleptic evaluations of the wine.
Johanneshof Cellars have won numerous
prestigious awards... Since 2002...
Of which Edel is justifiably proud.
There are so many of them...
This cabinet holds the most precious awards
garnered from all round the world.
Just one of the 'Gold' medals...
Edel's Gewurztraminer has been elevated from
a 'Classic New Zealand Wine' to a
'Super Classic New Zealand Wine' by prominent
wine writer Michael Cooper in his
'Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to NZ Wines 2012'
highlighting consistency of excellence.
Tasting was a real treat and all were
delicious... But I can only fit so much in my pack
when I am travelling.
But I was given a list of the selected places in NZ
that sell Johanneshof wines.
We were taken on a tour through the amazing underground cellar.
Johanneshof's adoration for Europe's century old wine culture led
Edel and Warwick to establish in 1993,
New Zealand's first underground rock cellar
tunnelled, by New Zealand's South Island's West Coast miners,
into solid sandstone, 50 meters long and 20 meters deep underground.
The cool, stable temperature and high
natural humidity of this unique cellar
provide ideal storage conditions to allow the maturation of wines
in French Barriques and German barrels.
In this traditional cellar, Johanneshof's flagship wine,
the Methode Traditionnelle 'EMMI' is fermented
in its bottle and aged on its yeast lees for more than 5 years.
After learning about the process of making this 'Methode Traditionelle'
compared with the cheap 'supermarket' bubbles...
I won't be buying it any more... And it explains why in general
I don't like bubbly wine.
Johanneshof Cellars Edelbrand - Grape Brandy
Solely made from 100% hand harvested grapes grown in Marlborough
Johanneshof Cellars' Edelbrand
has been maturing deep in the underground
cellar for some 15 years. Aged in Limousine barrels
this premium brandy is blended like the best cognacs using the
solera method guaranteeing the finest quality of brandies.
Good Things TakeTime
Johanneshof is one of a few New Zealand companies who produce a
Grape Brandy. Called "Edelbrand" is distilled twice like a Cognac,
ends up with a very high alcohol content which is then diluted down.
The name means 'Noble Brandy' from German.
This brandy maturing in the underground Koromiko cellars
is sampled out of the barrels using a glass 'winethief' ...
Edel admits that the enjoyment they get out of these
regular barrel tastings no doubt contributes to the prolonged
time they let this precious liquid mature.
After tasting... I did succumb to buying a bottle of this unique brandy.
When the brandy is distilled it is clear like water.
It gets its beautiful colour while it ages in oak casks.
It and the glass found a place in my pack...
And travelled back to my bus without getting broken....
The bottle is now empty!
Do wander round the web site... It's very informative...
I have only told you a fraction.
When you are next in New Zealand's South Island
a visit is a must... You will love the experience.