So the very first conference dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc was quite something. It was a pleasure spending time with our peers reminding ourselves of the merits of this fabulous grape and what we have achieved with it and where we might travel with it next.
It was also an insight having Courteney Peters of Gather & Hunt with us for the entire three days. It's all very well the trade getting together in a room to talk shop but what would the person we're actually trying to sell the wine to make of it all?
That's why we popped Courteney on an Air NZ flight to Blenheim and surrounded her with wine folk and submerged her in nothing but Sauvignon.
She embraced the challenge/opportunity with vim and vigour and made daily notes in her journal to document the experience. It's fair to say, she made some interesting observations. Who knew spitting wine was so daunting to our customer but isn't it good we know that now?
Given Courteney has a passion for hospitality and regularly features the joints that are serving up goodness in Auckland across her media, is was also an eye-opener to see how intimidating she found describing wine aromas, especially when parked next to an expert like New Zealand's only Master Sommelier, Cameron Douglas (although who better to sit next to to learn about wine!)
The magic of having Courteney along as a guest of Huia was we saw the conference both through the eyes of the craftsperson and the customer. The organisers of the event did the green grape community proud. It truly was a fantastic way to take another look, a closer perhaps kinder look at our national grape but the greatest thing was watching Courteney, our customer, leave Marlborough with a determined sense of ownership of New Zealand's Sauvignon success.
But don't take our word for it, read what she thought in her journal entries.