A friend of mine, who traveled the world for business, once told me that New Zealand was the most beautiful of all places. I never had a desire to go there.
A motto I adopted some time ago was to take ordinary things and bring them to a higher level of ordinariness. I never had a desire for the extraordinary.
A teacher I had in my early business career told me to focus on small businesses because small businesses offered the most challenge. I never had a desire for the grand.
Then I became interested in the wines from the Yealand estates.
There in New Zealand, Peter Yealand, an extraordinary character developed a winery with a grand scale and a global reach and I, surprisingly, liked the wines. No. I found the wines defining New Zealand winemaking in a way that marked them with all the things I like about wine – old world style; new world pizzazz.
Although a large, global brand that operates with a large organization, it is wrong to think of Yealand wines that way. It is more important to think about Yealand and its contribution to sustainable farming. The way to think about Yealand is to think about a farmer, an extraordinary guy named Peter, who wholeheartedly put Laudato Si into play before Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Francis. Even before l'Accord de Paris.
At the Yealand estates they have vine pruning burners. They have New Zealand’s largest array of solar panels. They have a zero carbon footprint. All praiseworthy advancements that protect the environment.
But none of this is what has led to Yealand Estates being named New Zealand Winery of the Year. And none of this is what makes the wines from the Yealand Estates so attractive, so praiseworthy and so drinkable.
For sure, the attention to every detail of farming, every detail of the harvesting and every detail of the winemaking process are as important as the attention to the global environment. But what really brings the wines to a higher level is that the Yealand wines take the essence of the New Zealand soil, nurture the vines with the gentle ocean breeze and moisture, grow the grapes that are best suited for the environment and exercise control over every aspect – even the smallest detail – of the vinification process.
The wines made under the direction Peter Yealand from the beautiful coast of New Zealand are well worth their modest price. There is both love of the earth and wine making craftsmanship that produces these wines. Never mind the high scores. Pay no heed to the rave reviews. Just pop a cork and close your eyes and see the beauty of the place where the vines were nurtured, where the wines were created, where you can experience the beauty of the place – even if you never had a desire to go there, are never on the lookout for the extraordinary, and are never impressed by size.
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