Two new wine qualifications launch this year

Wine generates a cool $2 billion for New Zealand so two new courses are launching this year to transform our knowledge of this highly successful (and still relatively youthful) industry.

Celia Hay is launching the new courses this year at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, which she founded in 1995 in Christchurch, then relocated to Auckland in 2011 after the quakes.

“The focus of the two new courses is building knowledge of New Zealand and international wine regions through tasting and research and at the same time considering how successful regions manage their tourism and food and wine experiences,” says Hay, who is the director and a hands on tutor at the NZ School of Food & Wine.

“New Zealand’s wine story has been one of resounding success with wine now a $2 billion dollar sector in this country,” she says.

The courses will offer new career opportunities for people of all ages, especially in sales and marketing, at winery cellar doors,  food and wine tourism and enhancing customer experience in restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels.

“There is much to learn from understanding what makes a wine region successful and famous as a destination to visit. We see this knowledge as being important and extremely helpful to build our own New Zealand wine destinations and enhance their visitors’  experience.”

Wine tasting provides an opportunity that Hay describes as unique when it comes to tasting and savouring the characteristics of wine regions, which can be captured in the glass. Whisky is similar because it can reflects a style that is associated with the Highlands in Scotland or the smoky peaty styles that defines whiskies from the Scottish isles.

The qualifications will also focus on the business of running wineries and restaurants. Graduates will develop confidence in the use of digital marketing applications, understanding promotional and sales platforms and techniques. All of these aspects comprise the sales and marketing toolkits of successful businesses.

NZ Certificate in Professional Wine Knowledge Level 5 and the NZ Diploma of Wine Management Level 6 will be available as full time and part time programmes with some remote learning options for people living outside Auckland.

Both qualification embed the WSET Level 2 and 3 Award in Wine and the WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits. New Zealand residents are eligible for student loans, allowances and Free Fees, if they meet the criteria.

Find out more about the new courses… The courses are the NZ Certificate in Professional Wine Knowledge Level 5 (more details here) and the NZ Diploma in Professional Wine Management Level 6 (more information here).

New lease of life for an old Kiwi winery

One of Hawke’s Bay’s best known wineries has new owners and is once again entirely a New Zealand owned company.
Mitch Plaw, director and one of the new Trinity Hill owners says he sees significant opportunities to grow Trinity Hill and looks forward to being part of its growth and development in the future.”
The Hawke’s Bay based winery was founded in 1993 and was one of the best known early pioneers of wines made made from grapes grown on the now well known Gimblett Gravels sub-region.
The new owners are private investors who are passionate about the wine industry. Mitch Plaw and business partners Craig Turner, Mark Sandelin and Michael Nock will continue to operate the business and have plans for significant future growth and expansion. All of the winery’s current staff remain and members of the group say they feel more positive about the future of Trinity Hill than they have for years. Win win.
Watch this space for more.

If you can’t beat it, join the rage for rosé

Southern French rosé may be the apex of dry, pale pink, light bodied wines to drink chilled in summer, but everybody is getting in on the act these days. The best of them live up to their refreshing promises but there have traditionally been few really high notes. This is changing, as a tasting this week of a $50 dry Spanish rosé (deep in colour but bone dry) showed me. There’s precious little of that wine so in lieu of suggesting it’s worth trying to track down something that’s impossible to find, here are three light to medium bodied pink wines that punch above what their price suggests.

2020 Urlar Gladstone Pinot Rosé $25
Here is a rosé with more colour, more flavour and firmer tannins than most made from Pinot Noir in New Zealand today. And that’s why I like it.
Winemaker Jannine Rickards used Pinot Noir clones 115 and 114 which she soaked briefly for colour before pressing them to tank; most fermented in stainless steel with a small portion in old French oak barrels. She also added a portion of clone 5 Pinot Noir which was hand and fermented as whole clusters in a sealed tank. This gives the wine structure and power. It contains a miniscule amount of residual sugar with 1.26 grams per litre.
I love this style. It tastes flavoursome, refreshing and every sip lingers.
* Urlar means of the earth and this wine is certified organic with BioGro NZ.

2020 Main Divide Rosé North Canterbury $21.99
Looks can be deceiving, as in the case of this pale pink, super  flavoursome rosé, which is made by the Donaldson family, whose eldest son, Mat, is chief winemaker of the talented team in charge of this wine. It’s made from the free run juice of a range of grape varieties grown in the Waipara Valley, North Canterbury, at Pegasus Bay’s vineyards. It tastes dry, spicy and has concentrated dried red berry flavours, backing up a refreshing pink wine with depth.

Rosabel Vin de France $
Southern French rosé is the apex of dry, pale pink, refreshing light bodied wines to drink chilled on hot days. And the best of them live up to this promise. Rosabel is made from grapes grown in several regions around the Mediterranean, hence the name ‘vin de France’, which refers to its multi region blend. It tastes soft, creamy and fresh with red berry flavours, a hint of sweetness mid palate, nicely balanced by a dry finish.

Read more of my thoughts about rosé over on Beauty EQ’s weekly blog here