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Be a good bugger!

 Support Cheviot Be A Good Bugger

Our local community of Cheviot has come together to develop this campaign to support local businesses that are hurting after the closure of State Highway 1 North of Kaikoura.

"Have you ever thought to yourself “Am I a GOOD BUGGER?”

Well now you have a chance to be a GOOD BUGGER by supporting Cheviot. Our little town of Cheviot is hurting from the closure of State Highway 1 North of Kaikoura. Businesses that rely on the traffic and tourism the State Highway 1 brings are feeling the pinch.

We’ve had a lot of people and businesses across NZ ask “How can we help?” So we’ve put together two fantastic ways that you can be a GOOD BUGGER.

1. Purchase one of our GOOD BUGGER hampers full of delicious products made with love in Cheviot.

2. Visit Cheviot in the month of February and go in the draw to win one of four $500 hampers of awesome Cheviot made products.

All entries also go in the draw to win Air NZ flights and Heritage Hotels accommodation."

Interested in participating? Click on one of the following fliers to learn more.

Be a Good Buggar           Support Cheviot, New Zealand

Mt. Beautiful Raises Spirits of Earthquake Victims

Australian News Earthquake

Watch this short video on 7NEWS 'til the end and you can see how Mt. Beautiful Winery helped raise the spirits of this international group of young tourists who had been on the "Kiwi Experience" bus tour when they became stranded in Kaikoura due to last week's quake.

They were evacuated via helicopter to Cheviot and the local community prepared food and hot drinks for them. Erin offered glasses of Mt. Beautiful wine, which was very well received. From there the tourists traveled to Christchurch by bus.

Ex-All Blacks' Tony Brown Visits Our Tasting Room!

Tony Brown All Blacks

(Tony Brown; in light blue shirt cradling a bottle of Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir)

Last week, New Zealand's ex-All Black's rugby player Tony Brown visited our Tasting Room in Cheviot. (He's a bit of a big deal in NZ)

Tony is now Head Coach of the provincial rugby team, the Otago Highlanders who won the Super Rugby competition last year. Super Rugby is the international tournament that runs for 5 months between NZ, Australia and South Africa. This year there was also a team from Japan and Argentina included.

Tony and other management and coaches from the Otago Highlanders were travelling from Dunedin (where they are based) to Nelson, and wanted something fun to do on the way.

They were hosted by Juliette and had such a good time they ended up staying for a few hours, trying some older vintages along with a few platters. They were incredibly interested in learning as much as they could about winemaking and we enjoyed imparting all our knowledge to them!

Frost Protection in Our Vineyard

Kaikoura Helicopters 

During the spring time, temperatures can dip quite low during evenings and put our vines at risk of the damaging effects of frost.

There's a variety of means to fight against frost damage in the vineyard including the use of wind machines, sprinklers, hot air burners and helicopters.

The use of helicopters is one of the most expensive and most effective methods. Their large blades help circulate the air and push warm air down towards the ground. Sometimes they fly around for hours doing just that.

If our Vineyard Manager thinks there might be frost the coming morning, he calls in these choppers from Kaikoura. They are parked at the vineyard and the pilots stay in Cheviot for the night "on call."

If the frost alarms go off, Fin calls the pilots who arrive within 10 minutes to fly the helicopters and start the fight against frost!

Bud Break In Our Vineyard


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Here in the US we are officially in the fall season however in New Zealand, spring is on the horizon. In fact we just received word of bud break in our Chardonnay blocks this morning. The 2017 vintage is already underway!

Pruning In Our Estate Vineyard

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Pruning is an annual event in our vineyard that helps control the size and shape of the grapevines. It also helps optimize the vines’ production potential, so we have beautiful and quality fruit yields.

Pruning By Hand

Performed very carefully and entirely by hand with secateurs and loppers, this is an essential activity of vineyard management that sets the stage for the vineyard’s performance and productivity for the coming year and years ahead.

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Pruning H

With 184 acres planted to vines at Mt. Beautiful, and over 20 unique blocks, pruning is an especially active time in our vineyard that spans the course of 2-3 months; typically June through August, during New Zealand’s winter months. It also happens to be the most expensive single activity of the year where our permanent staff joins forces with several seasonal hires in the vineyard.

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Fin Grieve, our Vineyard Manager, uses his vast experience and judgement when choosing which of the two primary pruning methods (spur or cane) will be optimal for a given vineyard block, taking into consideration desired crop levels, the characteristics of each varietal and the block’s location.

Primarily we cane prune most of the vineyard however Riesling responds particularly well to spur pruning. In addition we also spur prune small areas of our Pinot Noir.

Pruning A

Here’s more information on these two different types of pruning techniques used at Mt. Beautiful / Teece Family Vineyard.

Cane Pruning:

This method is normally better suited for colder climates or vines growing outside regions that are on the cold end of their preferred range, however, cane pruning is more labor intensive and risky, as it necessitates someone with a trained eye who knows how to choose the best canes. If a poor choice is made, the vine may produce less than favorable results.

With cane pruning, two or three canes growing from the head of the vine are selected and preserved for the following year. These canes should be a minimum of 8-10 mm wide (pencil width) and be one-year-old wood with evenly spaced and healthy looking buds (internodes).

The selected canes are then wrapped and tied to the trellis wire. Before removing all of the remaining dormant canes, replacement spurs are identified and cut back to two or three buds. These provide insurance that there will be at least some replacement canes should the vine not produce canes in the areas that we want for the following year’s pruning.

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Pruning C

Spur Pruning
Spur pruning is easier for beginning pruners to learn, especially when pruning older vines that have pronounced cordons and spurs.

Cordons are canes that are not replaced (left on the wire for many years) and spurs are where the buds that produce shoots in spring are cut back to the cordon . With this method, the one-year-old wood growing from the spurs of the cordon are pruned back so only one or two buds are left as close as possible to the cordon. As the shoots grow they will need to later be tied to the trellis.

The advantage of spur pruning is that it generally yields a higher likeliness for a uniform bud break and also creates a spatial balance along the cordon which is advantageous for crop loading and minimizing disease pressure.

A disadvantage of spur pruning is that it’s possible for spurs to stop producing one-year-old wood, leaving permanent gaps in the cordon, If that occurs we usually replace the cordon with a new cane.

 

The Beautiful People - Erin Harrison, Business Operations & Development Manager

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Erin is a valued member of Mt. Beautiful's New Zealand team who, among many things, is amazing at keeping our US team updated on what is going on in our vineyard, farm and tasting room.

She loves to share spontaneous and creative photos and videos of the various happenings. To name a few - our sheep getting shorn, the construction of our new lodge at Manuka Bay, a snowy scenic landscape after a storm, 1000's of sheep passing through a gate, an employee BBQ and even something as simple as a visitor to our tasting room in Cheviot.

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We wanted to get to know a little more about Erin through some Q&A, and prompted her with the following:

Hometown: Cheviot

How did you get in the wine business? Being in the right place at the right time.

Role at Mt. Beautiful:
Business Operations & Development Manager (whip cracker).

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Ideal dinner party guests:
My extended family; always a good time and it always ends in card playing and port drinking.

Favorite Mt. Beautiful wine:
Chardonnay 2015 – not released yet. Just you wait, it’s amazing.

Favorite food and wine pairing
:  Pinot Noir with kiwi lamb chops.

Favorite restaurant
: Roots, Lyttleton NZ. Closely followed by Nobu.

Favorite vacation destination:  
For a good adventure – Guatemala
For good snowboarding – Fernie, Canada
For general epicness – anywhere in the South Island of NZ

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Favorite things to do in my free time:  Catch-up with my girlfriends and drink wine.

First paid job:  
Does working on the family farm count? We were paid with food and shelter.
Otherwise, washing dishes at Magpies Rest Café in Cheviot when I was 13.

Favorite TV show:  Don’t really do TV. Too busy drinking wine.

Favorite Color:
Rainbow

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Don’t leave home without:
My sidekick, Murphy the Wauzer puppy.

Fun fact about you or any other information you think our readers would enjoy reading:  I’ve spent a month saving penguins in Antarctica.

Penguins 

Romeo Bragato Awards - Mt. Beautiful Takes A Silver!

Silver Bragato

Our Vineyard Manager, Fin, was present at this year's Romeo Bragato Conference held in Blenheim. This event is recognized as the largest and one of the most important conferences to grape growers and wine makers on the New Zealand calendar. 

Needless to say Fin (along with the entire Mt. Beautiful team!) was proud to take home a Pure Silver medal for our 2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.  Out of 40 wines awarded medals in this class, only four were rated higher.

About the Bragato Awards:
"The Bragato Wine Awards is seen by many as the first wine show for the new vintage; this is a chance to see how they stack up against other wines in the same class. The objective is to give recognition to viticultural excellence and to recognize the influence of grape growers and their vineyards in creating the unique qualities of New Zealand wines, by judging the wines made from grapes grown on such specified vineyards. This competition is open to all growers of New Zealand wine grapes to enter wine products from grapes grown on the vineyard or vineyards owned, managed, or operated by the entrant. Entries must be wholly made, processed and matured in New Zealand. The 2016 Bragato Wine Awards are proudly sponsored by O-I New Zealand, the world's leading glass bottle manufacturer.” 

 

 

A Finalist at North Canterbury Business Awards!

Every two years, Enterprise North Canterbury hosts the North Canterbury Business Awards. These awards are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence amongst North Canterbury businesses. 

There are several categories, covering diverse industries, from retail to IT, agribusiness to manufacturing. In addition, all entrants are automatically put forward into the Supreme Award and the People’s Choice category which is an award decided by public votes.

This year, Mt. Beautiful entered and is excited to be selected as a finalist under the Manufacturing category! Here is a look at our certificate as well as a couple images from the awards ceremony.

Finalist North Canterbury Business Award

 Canterbury Business Awards Photo 2

From left to right: Ben Weaver, Robert Watkins and Erin Harrison of Mt. Beautiful

Canterbury Business Awards Photo 1

At left: Robert Watkins of Mt. Beautiful

The Beautiful People - Chuck Spelman, Global US Sales Manager

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Chuck Spelman joined the Mt. Beautiful USA team in March 2013 as the Global US Sales Manager, bringing over 25 years' of experience and wine industry knowledge. From strategic planning, to distributor relations, to business development, Chuck has demonstrated proven leadership skills and strategic insight.

But this blog post isn't all about Chuck's professional experience ...

We want to offer you an inside peek of what makes him tick outside of his professional role with Mt. Beautiful. Check out the Q's and A's below to learn more about him.

Chuck Spelman D

What is your favorite Mt. Beautiful wine?
"Pinot Noir."

What is your favorite food and wine pairing? 
"Our Pinot Noir and roasted duck with cherry sauce."

Who would your ideal dinner party guests be?
"The Rat Pack."

What is your favorite restaurant?
"Sushi Ran in Sausalito."

What is your favorite vacation destination?
"The Amalfi Coast in Italy."

What do you do in your free time?
"Ride my bicycle in the Marin Headlands."

What was your first paid job?
"Working at my father's restaurant."

Chuck Spelman B

What is your favorite TV show?
"Anything with sports."

Just for fun - what is your favorite color?
"Blue."

What is it that you don't leave home without?
"My cell phone."

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Give us one fun fact about you that you think our readers would enjoy:
"I’m an avid cyclist and have ridden the “Death Ride” twice in 2011 and 2016 with my son.  15K feet of climbing and 120 miles at elevation in 9 ½ hours."

The Beautiful People - Caitlin Manning, Eastern US Sales Manager

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Our Eastern United States Sales Manager is Caitlin Manning.  She is originally a New England native but now enjoys living in the heart of New York City. Caitlin brings 19 years of wine industry experience to the Mt. Beautiful team and is familiar with all aspects of the industry. Before she switched to the supplier side; she was a Sales Rep for a boutique wine distributor and spent several years working in fine dining restaurants.  Here at Mt. Beautiful, she manages the sales of our wines in 15+ states and has rapidly increased the size of her territory since she came on board in March 2015.  We are so glad to have Caitlin as part of the Mt. Beautiful USA team.

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We wanted to give you a better idea of who Caitlin really is, so we asked her the following questions:

MB: Who would your ideal dinner party guests be?
Caitlin: Gwen Stefani, Leonardo DiCaprio and Elvis Presley- my dad’s idol! 

MB: What’s your favorite Mt. Beautiful wine?
Caitlin: 2013 Pinot Noir

MB: What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
Caitlin: Sauvignon Blanc and a huge seafood tower loaded with shellfish

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MB: What is your favorite restaurant?
Caitlin: Locande Verde in Manhattan, Nobu in Malibu, and Cape Neddick Lobster Pound in Cape Neddick, Maine.

MB: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
Caitlin: The South of France

MB: What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
Caitlin: Cooking, trying new restaurants in the city, winery visits, Soul Cycle and going to the beach with my daughters and husband. I also love fashion, so I'm a big shopper.

MB: What was your first paid job?
Caitlin: A bus girl at an Italian restaurant. 

MB: What is your favorite TV show?   
Caitlin: Six Feet Under is tied with Breaking Bad for my favorite show. My guilty pleasure- The Bachelor

MB: What’s your favorite color?
Caitlin: Green

MB: What do you never leave home without?
Caitlin: iPhone and business cards

MB: What is a fun fact about you?
Caitlin: Growing up in New Hampshire I was able to meet a lot of presidents since we have the first primary. My favorite was President Ronald Reagan.  I have also met the entire cast of Entourage. 

The Hunt for the Perfect Gift

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This is a true story about a father searching for the perfect graduation gift for his daughter…

Hannah was studying Product Design Engineering at Strathclyde University (United Kingdom). She spent her third year studying in South Carolina. Shortly after her 21st birthday, her family flew to the United States to spend a short visit with her. During their stay, Hannah introduced her family to her favorite burger restaurant where they tried the recommended Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc… And they loved it! They returned to the burger restaurant on their last evening in South Carolina and the Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc was the first thing ordered.

Hannah’s graduation from Strathclyde was approaching and her parents thought that a case of Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc would be a perfect surprise graduation gift.  So, her father embarked on a search for Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.  He spotted the wine on the website of a supplier of New Zealand wines in the UK. However, in the few days it took him to place his online order the wine had sold out. He then emailed Mt. Beautiful in New Zealand directly and they connected him with Genesis Wines in London. Genesis confirmed that they were able to supply him with the Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc within days—Just before Hannah's graduation!

 A few words from Hannah’s father…

“…Its an absolutely perfect present with which to reward Hannah for all her hard work and I could not be more grateful to both Mt. Beautiful and Genesis Wines for helping me make Hannah's day even more special - or beautiful even!”

The Mt. Beautiful team would like to congratulate Hannah on all of her hard work! Thank you to the Scott Family for sharing their heartwarming story.

Cheers!

The Beautiful Flowers in our Vineyards

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Here at Mt. Beautiful, we use sustainable farming methods. We grow flowers and other plants that attract beneficial insects in and around our grapevine rows. The beneficial insects prey on the insects that could potentially damage our vines and resulting grapes.  Additionally after these have flowered and served their purpose, the organic plant matter from these flowers and plants adds nutrients to our soil. This careful practice allows us to limit our use of insecticides and chemical fertilizers in our farming practices, and so trace amounts of these chemicals do not end up in our wines either.

To further break it down, We plant a mixture of Phacelia and Buckwheat in rows approximately 16m apart, as this is how far the insects will travel to the next flowers. That means we plant it every 8th row in our 2m rows (Pinot Noir) and every 6th row in our 2.4m rows (Pinot Gris, Riesling & Chardonnay). We plant oats and peas every fourth row in the Sauvignon Blanc for soil fertility and for organic matter.

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The idea behind the flowers is that they will attract beneficial insects into the vineyard that will attack the undesirable insects that cause rot or botrytis through their presence. We are letting nature do its thing, instead of spraying insecticides, which inevitably kills both good and bad insects.  The additional bonus of increasing the insect population is that it attracts birds, who also do their part by eating the insects. It’s a Beautiful circle of life!

Not only do our beneficial flowers deter pests, they also add some more beauty to our vineyards.

Drink Beautiful and be healthy!

The Beautiful People - Cori Gormley, Business Operations Manager US

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Cori is one of those people who does it all, and does it with a smile! We are so glad to have her as part of our team. She started with Mt. Beautiful USA in January of 2011.

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Cori is a San Francisco Bay Area native and her diverse 25-year background in accounting includes work in the construction, healthcare, property management, and pharmaceutical industries. She also spent a few years as the assistant to the finance director at Marine World Africa USA (now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom). In the 10 years prior to joining Mt. Beautiful USA, Cori started and operated a number of businesses, including a paint-your-own pottery studio, a foil imprinting business, and a private bookkeeping service.

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We wanted to give you a better idea of who Cori really is, so we asked her the following questions:

MB: Who would your ideal dinner party guests be?
Cori: Robin Williams, John F Kennedy, John Adams (distant relative) and my late Grandmother (because she’d keep them all on their toes)

MB: What’s your favorite Mt. Beautiful wine?  
Cori: Sauvignon Blanc

MB: What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
Cori: Smoked Salmon and Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

MB: What are a few of your favorite restaurants?
Cori: Slanted Door-SF, Bottega-Yountville, Carmines-NYC

MB: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
Cori: Anywhere with a great pool and an even greater cocktail selection

MB: What are your favorite things to do in your free time?  
Cori: Cook and watch movies in front of a fire

MB: What was your first paid job?
Cori: I grew up in my family’s restaurant business, so I worked as a banquet waitress for my dad from the time I was 12 years old.  My first non-family paid job was as a clerk for a florist in high school

MB: What are some of your favorite TV shows?  
Cori: Criminal Minds, American Horror Story, Master Chef Junior, House of Cards

MB: What’s your favorite Color?
Cori: Orange

MB: What things do you never leave home without?
Cori:  Sunglasses and cell phone

MB: What are some fun facts about you?
Cori: I have two amazing sons, 15 & 22, who I am VERY proud of, and husband of 27 years who somehow puts up with my controlling ways every day!  And I am a HUGE San Francisco Giants Fan!!

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Mt. Beautiful Doing its Bit for Women's Health

Here at Mt. Beautiful, we are pitching in to help support women with breast cancer. If you were to drive around our farm, you would see big rolls of pink-wrapped hay bales.

Pink Ribbon
The pink plastic-wrapped silage is in support of Sweet Louise, a foundation that supports women and families living with secondary breast cancer. The foundation receives a percentage of the cost of each roll of silage and hay wrap.

Pink Bales
Sweet Louise CEO, Fiona Hatton, said, "It looks great and it's a fun way for people to do their bit and support something really important."

Rural women suffering from breast cancer can be at a disadvantage, simply because of their location. "To get to and from their appointments can be really difficult and expensive and it's a hard-hitting reality . . . a life-changing diagnosis," said Ms. Hatton.

Sweet Louise
Agpac, the company that started the initiative, imported 3000 kilometres of pink bale wrap into New Zealand. It all sold in less than a month and we purchased a bunch of it.

Agpac’s Financial controller Stewart Turner, is thrilled with the response from agricultural contractors. "It's been an overwhelming success. People got right behind it and it's all for a good cause. Wives, women, are an important part of the business. While the blokes tend to drive their tractors, the women are also driving, doing the books, keeping the guys fed." He described the act of writing a cheque as "too easy," so the company tossed around ideas they hoped would make a bigger impact.

The pink-wrapped bales are currently being used alongside existing bailing and silage products. The change in color makes no difference - it's the same agricultural product as everything else, only pink. And it helps people.

We are happy to be doing our small part to support women with breast cancer and those who love them. If you would like to join us in supporting the Sweet Louise Foundation, click here.

Helping is a Beautiful thing.

Your Friends At Mt. Beautiful

Have A Beautiful Holiday Season!

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In the Maori language Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Meri Kirihimete'. Following is a bit about how Christmas and Boxing Day are celebrated in New Zealand…

New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, so the holidays are in Summer in New Zealand. While much of the world is singing about a “White Christmas,” New Zealanders are celebrating Christmas in the warm summer sun. Many flowers and trees are in bloom at this time of the year, for example the Pohutukawa, which is a tree that grows mainly in coastal areas on the North Island. Because of its lovely red blossoms, New Zealanders call the Pohutukawa their Christmas tree.

Tree

As it is usually quite warm on Christmas Day, New Zealanders may eat their Christmas dinner outside – many people have a picnic or a barbecue. Some people even have a traditional Maori hangi - they dig a hole in the ground and heat it with hot stones, then they put meat and vegetables into this hole, cover it up and let the food cook inside. The hangi is served in the afternoon or evening and after the delicious meal has been enjoyed, people often sit around and sing Christmas carols. 

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Boxing Day is a public holiday observed in New Zealand every December 26, which also marks St. Stephen’s Day. St. Stephen was the first Christian to become a “martyr” because of his faith and he died by stoning. The exact origin of Boxing Day is still not known but it may have begun in England, where the upper class members of society would give cash or gifts to the lower socio-economic status or may have been when priests open charity boxes (church alms) then give them to the less fortunate on December 26. It may also have been taken from an old tradition where masters placed gifts for their servants in boxes and distributed them the day after Christmas.

During this festive time of year, our Mt. Beautiful team enjoys our Sauvignon Blanc paired with light seafood dishes and salads, and our Pinot Noir with all things barbeque. They also love our Riesling and Pinot Gris paired with lighter picnic foods and local cheeses.

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Whether you are barbecuing on the beach in the southern hemisphere or bundled up enjoying a white Christmas in the northern hemisphere, warm wishes of Meri Kirihimete from all of us at Mt. Beautiful!

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