//New Zealand Wine’s Sacred Soils with Left Field’s Richard Painter

New Zealand Wine’s Sacred Soils with Left Field’s Richard Painter


How does the unique geography and climate of Hawke’s Bay and Gimlet Gravels in New Zealand create wines unlike any others? How does New Zealand Syrah differ from those from other regions? Why do many winemakers seem to have a special love for Chardonnay?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Richard Painter, Winemaker for Te Awa Single Estate and Left Field wines.

You can find the wines we discussed here.



  • How does the geography of Gimblett Gravels impact the wines you get from Te Awa Wines?
  • Which foods would make a good match for you to pair with the lighter style of Left Field Chardonnay?
  • What prominent notes will you experience with Left Field Chardonnay?
  • Which delicious pairings should you try with Left Field Sauvignon Blanc?
  • What’s the fascinating story behind the unique illustrations you’ll find on Left Field wine labels?
  • How does Chardonnay lend itself to the wide stylistic variations available to you?
  • What particular style can you expect from Left Field Chardonnay versus Te Awa Estate Chardonnay?
  • Why are goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc a pairing a perfect pairing you should try?
  • What unique characteristics will you find in Left Field Rosé?
  • Should you cellar your Rosé?
  • What differences will you taste between a New Zealand versus Australian Syrah?
  • What can you expect from a Left Field Pinot Noir and Left Field Merlot?
  • Why would you find that wine is a natural progression after studying geography?


Key Takeaways

  • I admire Richard’s love of geography and soil: it’s so fundamental to understanding and loving wine.
  • This week, I’m trying his suggested pairing of fried snapper with lemon and a zesty cool-climate Chardonnay.
  • He observed that Chardonnay is often considered a winemaker’s wine since it can express so many staples and variations depending on the winemaker’s decisions, and of course, the terroir.


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About Richard Painter

Richard studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geography at Otago. Whilst living in Dunedin, he spent four years managing the legendary Bath St. Nightclub. During this stint in hospitality, Richard began attending wine clubs and tastings. He soon realized that not only did he really enjoy drinking wine but also that the process of making wine was intrinsically linked to soil science and climatology and therefore appeared to be a practical application of what he studied in Physical Geography. This burgeoning interest in wine took him to Lincoln University in 2006, to complete a Graduate Diploma in Winemaking and Viticulture.

Richard started off his career in the wine industry working in vineyards in Central Otago, Canterbury and Nelson. During a year working at Neudorf Vineyard’s in Nelson, he discovered an interest in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and wanted to learn more about these wines. This led him to travel to Oregon to work for Owen Roe Winery and as fate would have it, ended up working in their facility in Washington State.

Again his curiosity with different varietals was piqued and he fell in love with making (and naturally drinking) bold red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blends and Syrah. This love of red wine is what brought Richard to Hawkes Bay as he wanted to work with fruit from the famous Gimblett Gravels sub-region.



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Richard Painter 0:00
I couldn’t agree more. So no one can go to change but made to go together.

Natalie MacLean 0:04
They were and you know, if we go back to old world, it’s shev, which is goats cheese and salsa from the laoire Valley, which is Sauvignon Blanc. So it actually also works very nicely. I guess it’s that grassiness of the fresh metally note in both the cheese and the wine. What do you think brings them together?

Richard Painter 0:22
I think goat’s cheese does have a nice little tightness. And obviously Sauvignon Blanc has a crisp acidity, but also that slight creaminess of the cheese. It’s nice to have something fresh and acidic just to cut through that. But yeah, I haven’t thought about that crossing and I think that’s a really good description.

Natalie MacLean 0:39
We’ll go with that.

Do you have a thirst to learn about wine? Do you love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places and amusingly awkward social situations? That’s the blend here on the unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie MacLean.

Unknown Speaker 1:09
And each week,

Natalie MacLean 1:10
I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject. I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please. And let’s get started. Welcome to Episode 112. How does the unique Geography and climate of Hawke’s Bay and gimlet gravels in New Zealand create wines unlike any others? How does New Zealand Suraj differ from those from other regions? And why too many winemakers seem to have a special love for Chardonnay. That’s exactly what you’ll discover on this episode of The unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m chatting with New Zealand winemaker Richard painter, who is with to LA and left field wines. He has some great stories and wines to share. This conversation took place on my Facebook Live video show several years ago. So please keep that in mind for the context for Richards comments. He mentions the New Zealand wine fair, which is happening this year, but online due to COVID. in the show notes, you’ll find links to the wines we tasted the video version of this chat and a full transcript how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class. And where you can find me live on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube video every second Wednesday at 7pm. Eastern. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash 112. I’m hosting virtual wine and chocolate pairing classes for several corporate groups and other organisations as it’s a great tie in with Valentine’s Day. And attendees can participate at home with their loved ones. I’ll also be hosting wine and cheese tastings. If you’re interested in my doing this for your group, please email me at Natalie, Natalie MacLean calm, you’ll also find my contact in the show notes. Now on a personal note, before we dive into the show, I’m not sure why. But I love tracking packages that are being delivered to me. From the time I place an online order for anything to the time it’s delivered. I leave my browser tab open and I refresh it every morning and every night to see where that package is. I get a little dopamine hit with every email update notification. In fact, that almost makes me want to order something from the other side of the world say like a wine from New Zealand almost. Is this just vicarious travel in the time of COVID? I actually don’t think so because I did this before COVID perhaps is just the joy of anticipation the way I look forward to going out for a dinner. What about you is the anticipation of something a big part of the actual something I’d love to hear from you about this tagged me on social media at Natalie MacLean on Facebook or Twitter or on Instagram at Natalie MacLean wine. Okay, on with the show.

We are talking with Richard painter from New Zealand. He is actually logging in from New Zealand. We’re going to talk about the different wines you make. left field winery these amazing labels. We’ve got the New Zealand wine fair coming to Canada. So we’ve got lots to talk about, first of all, welcome, Richard and we’re so glad you could join us.

Richard Painter 4:48
Thanks for having me. It’s a real pleasure.

Natalie MacLean 4:51
Excellent, excellent. I know that you started off with a science degree but why don’t you fill in the gaps. How did you come to winemaking was winemaking in your family, or how did you get here?

Richard Painter 5:02
winemaking wasn’t necessarily in my family. But I do grew up in a household where wine was always on the table. My parents used to visit vineyards and wineries. And I’d get dragged along and taught as a child. So I guess it was always around, even as a teenager got to enjoy the odd glass of wine at dinner. But at university, I studied geography as a Bachelor of Science. And then after studying geography, I was actually in hospitality, managing a bar. And the owner and I used to go to a lot of wine tastings. And it was then when I sort of found that I had a real affinity for wine and realised that the whole process of making wine actually tied in quite well to geography, and it was all about soils and climates and that sort of thing. So from there, it’s a natural progression really, I studied winemaking as a post graduate diploma, recommend.

Natalie MacLean 5:55
Wow, well, I love that you come at it from geography because that’s the big thing and why of course, it’s all about terroir, which is the term we hear all the time thrown around. Yeah, fancy pants term for climate and soil and local weather and a variety of factors even including the winemakers decisions, that wouldn’t be too technical right off the bat. But rather than talk about terroir, what impact this geography play for you in the wines that you make now because I know you’re in the Hawke’s Bay of New Zealand and this little tiny region of Gimblett. gravels if I’m saying it correctly, what makes this patch of Earth really special Richard?

Richard Painter 6:35
Yeah, to a winery is located right on the gimlet. gravels actually unique in that it sits on the edge of gimlet gravel. So we straddle two different sub regions. One is the gimlet rebels which is just a very gravelly soil and the other is the bridge pod tribe, which is still gravelly, but has soap at the top. So that’s what makes tr really unique. But I think the gimlet gravels, in particular, it’s very unique. It’s a finite area of 800 hectares, and that’s an old riverbed. And only as recently as 150 years ago, that rhythm moved about two kilometres to the north after a big flood event. So lifted very pure, fresh young soil that is all stones with a little bit of sand and silt mix. And it’s very in fertile soil, which is not great for farming. The story has that a New Zealand you can only grow one sheet per hectare on this land, which farming terms there’s not very much as you know, if you fill in the land of sheep, so that’s how indigenous so people thought it was wasteland. And then in the 80s, a group of local wine growers saw the potential of this land for growing fine wine grapes in particular with grapes such as below Cabernet Sauvignon and Sarah Mae started planting it and, and fertile soil combined with a really warm local microclimate barrier is actually a slightly warmer than the rest of Hawke’s Bay as well. So that combination of warmth and very fertile soil means that it goes very lovely red wines, particularly those born over eyes from St. Sarah.

Unknown Speaker 8:13

Natalie MacLean 8:14
that’s quite an array. Now you mentioned you love Chardonnay, I’ve got the left field shirt nice. So what would be maybe your favourite food pairing with that one, Richard?

Richard Painter 8:25
The lithium Chardonnay it’s a lighter style of shad nice. So it’s what I call a lightly oaked Chardonnay it’s fermented in a mix of stainless steel and oak barrels so it’s not a big heavy one is what I’m getting it so I think that style wine is lovely with seafood. In New Zealand we have a one of the most common white fish is called snapper. I’m not sure if you’re upset with it. And it’s a lovely sort of been bleached white fish and sort of small enough that you can pan fry our whole one and I just love nothing more than a big hole pan fried stuff. Oh, just a little bit of linen for flavouring. And that just goes really well with that lifted and shoved me.

Natalie MacLean 9:04
Oh, you’re making my mouth water which is really excellent. And how would you describe this Chardonnay in particular this left field sharpening.

Richard Painter 9:14
So as I said the Litchfield Chardonnay, it’s a lighter style of Charlemagne you get a little glimpse of that French oak flavour of it but it has lovely citrus, particularly lemon flavours and in Hawke’s Bay you also get some lovely stone fruit flavours so slight peach and nectarine flavours come through and then although Hawke’s Bay is a warm part of New Zealand, the wines retain a lovely acidity. So what is the probably fresh acidity

Natalie MacLean 9:41
and so you say it’s a warm area yet it has freshness is that because the nights are cool in the Hawke’s Bay.

Richard Painter 9:47
Yes, I think New Zealand as a whole as a cool climate wine growing country. So even though we’re in the probably the warmest wine growing area of New Zealand that’s still cooler, and we’re not so far from the coast. So do get Polish air coming in from the sea. That just keeps the climate temperate that never gets too hot. And you’re right, the knots get quite cool, particularly later and also as the grapes get ready to be harvested.

Natalie MacLean 10:12
Yeah. And your Autumn is now right your southern hemisphere. So you’re into harvest right now correct

Richard Painter 10:19
on this topic actually rarely it’s been the earliest finish we’ve had, but I can remember being amazed. So let’s get a couple of weekends off, which is good.

Natalie MacLean 10:28
Well, they must get you on a plane to a trade show somewhere. a winemaker with a few weekends off unheard of. Okay, tonight Lucy is having lobster. So what would be your suggested pairing for that, Richard?

Richard Painter 10:43
For seven years long, I just love to shellfish. And he fell and we farm a lot of breeding mussels, particularly around the mulberry region, which is sort of one of the homes of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. So you know a big bowl of fresh mussels, maybe just with a linen broth, something like that would go really nicely when sending them home. And those lovely fresh herbaceous flavours and firm acidity in New Zealand send me a really sick to get some of those lovely shellfish flavours. If you can’t get mussels, then you know, all plans or even scholarships or scholarships are better, more prevalent in fiction, but she got better.

Natalie MacLean 11:21
Oh, that sounds fantastic. Now, Richard, of course, I’m really intrigued by all of the labels from your wine. So I try not as a person who writes about wanting to be drawn in by the labels, but these are irresistible. So what’s going on with all of these really iconic, almost crazy dream illustrations on your labels? Let’s talk about the one on this Chardonnay. Where is this coming from? Who did this and what’s the backstory?

Richard Painter 11:49
Yeah, fantastic. To just delve into the backstory a little bit, how I just explained on the job and yeah, we have two very different soil types. So the genesis of blissfield was really 10 or 12 years ago, the winemaker at the time, took grapes from them or salty bridge, triangle side of the vineyard and made a different range of wines called left field ones because the thing with gimlet gravels is that it’s basically an appellation and a trademark. So for a wine to be labelled gimlet gravels, that has to be 95% from the gimlet rebels area. So we had half of our vignette wasn’t filled with rebels that we needed to release once from that half of the boneyard. And at the time, they always called it the lithium of the video. So it was really a physical reference to the part of the lineage. And then about three or four years ago, we took left field and we decided that had such a strong brand name, and we decided to play on that second million have suddenly been on the left field has suddenly been a little left of centre, you know, a little bit quirky, so to speak. So we went to a local designer Aaron Pollack. And we asked him to design a label and some illustrations. And his design brief was basically Can you come up with something from a lithium, and it will be some amazing illustrations. So they’re actually taken out of an old biology textbook, like 100 year old biology textbook. So if you look at them, they really looked like you know, old handwriting, oh, biology textbook, and he’s taken several different creatures and blended them together to come up with mythical creations. And so on the Chardonnay, it’s called the lizard fish. And then what’s really interesting, I don’t know if you can see, there’s a little picture of a windmill drawn into all of the pictures, everyone has a different table. And the windmill was really the iconic tower, we’ve got this beautiful old windmill where our front gate which used to be used to draw water up from the aquifer below us when the property was a fan. So each of the labels does have elements of that one drawable. Very clearly,

Natalie MacLean 13:59
they are and I’ve even got the peanut gallery, and you can see the little windmills coming out of this crustacean on the side of it. So just the windmill, it’ll help with, you know, in some wineries, it’s taking the warm air and flushing it down to the vines to keep the vines warm in colder periods.

Richard Painter 14:17
Yes, we’ve got plenty of those scattered around Albania, so therefore frostbite and obviously been a cool climate, but a cold Cheerio, we do get late spring frost. So I quite like the fact that window is the symbol of gala because we’ve got this beautiful wall bomb that went out gate which used to be used for drawing water up to be used for the farm. And now we have these modern windmills or wooden machines scattered around within yards. So it’s sort of a modern incarnation of being one more spot cool.

Natalie MacLean 14:47
That’s awesome. So I’m curious because Chardonnay has Well, you know, it’s been through the thing ABC anything but charity but you’re calling it a winemakers wine. So tell me what your fascination is. Perhaps love is of Chardonnay. So a lot of people like to bash Chardonnay. But why do you like it?

Richard Painter 15:08
I think a lot of winemakers will like Chardonnay except to wine you can really have a bit of stylistic imprint on it to so many different styles of Chardonnay from theory, sort of Li minarelli, how much Chablis light shadow sort of very fat rich, okay, shadows is a real breadth of flavours you can have in five minutes, so you can really bring a bit of your own influence to it. Whereas a lot of other wines, aromatic white wines in particular, you know, the very sort of plain and very transparent of where the winds go on and things like that. So, I think winemakers like Charmaine because they can put a bit of their own personality into the wine, have a bit of fun,

Natalie MacLean 15:49
right? And what do you try to achieve with Chardonnay? Is there a signature is there a way you would describe your Sharpie especially from left field?

Richard Painter 15:57
I think the idea we make several shadows here at tea hour so the left field one has a lot of style. The first evenly field wide was actually an A note shadow produced in 2006. So over the years, we’ve introduced more barrels purely because I think it makes it a one hour chart nice. We’ve kicked and that lighter is a bit drink style, like said lovely citrus and stone fruit flavours but we also try and give the wine a little bit of generosity through mellow electric fermentation. And then we make an estate Chardonnay. That’s our single state Chardonnay. And that’s a step up in terms of it’s a bit richer, fuller bodied. And it also has a bit more flinty complexity from natural ferment. So are two quite distinct ones.

Natalie MacLean 16:44
Yeah, so tier one is the winery, which you call left field, like a sub label, or is it its own winery? How do you separate the two or do you? Yeah. Litchfield.

Richard Painter 16:54
We call our wines the tea our collection. So Lichfield sets and the tea, our collection, the big difference with Litchfield as we take grapes from around the country. So from different vineyard sites around the country, and also different vineyard sites around Hawke’s Bay to make those wines and they now try a single state wines are all made from grapes brought on to our site. So two quite separate labels in that sense, but they’re all made here at the tower winery.

Natalie MacLean 17:23
Okay. Jason says I agree with Richard about the white fish and shellfish pairing with sewing alone, but the highest acidity and soeben young blonde also makes it a great pairing with zesty citrusy summer salads, especially those with vinaigrette dressings. Any comments there? Richard?

Richard Painter 17:41
Couldn’t agree more. And actually, I’ll tell you one thing led to that sell it as a nice go to change because I tell you what, Sonia, welcome goats chickens were made to go together.

Natalie MacLean 17:51
They were and you know, if we go back to old world, it’s shev, which is goats cheese and salsa from the laoire Valley, which is Sauvignon Blanc. So it actually also works very nicely. I guess it’s that grassiness of the fresh Meadow II note in both the cheese and the line, what do you think brings them together?

Richard Painter 18:10
Yeah, I’m not so sure. I think maybe you know, goats cheese does have a nice little tartness. And obviously Sauvignon Blanc has a crisp acidity, but also that slight creaminess of the cheese. It’s nice to have something fresh and acidic just to cut through that. But yeah, I haven’t thought about that grasses. But I think that’s a really good description.

Natalie MacLean 18:28
We’ll go with that. Okay, so I’m curious. I’m gonna go back to a picture I have of you, Richard. I’m gonna show it on screen now. Your dog? What’s his name? And what’s his connection with the vineyard.

Richard Painter 18:42
a dog’s name is Sam. But he is an interesting mix of Labrador and New Zealand sheep dog. So he’s a big black, hairy dog. breed, as I call it. So Sam comes to work with me each day. He much prefers running around the building and then sitting in the lab or wandering around the winery. So he looks forward to the end of day walk around with the nerd.

Natalie MacLean 19:07
He’s not an analytical dog. He’s more of a out there in the field dog.

Richard Painter 19:11
He is.

Natalie MacLean 19:12
That’s great. And how long has he been around the vineyard?

Richard Painter 19:16
He must be about six now. So yeah, I’ve been working at Gao since 2013. So he’s been running around here for about the last 14 years.

Natalie MacLean 19:24
Oh, that’s so sweet. All right. So I’ve got a pile of your wines. I’ve got most of the conversation as I usually do. So let’s make sure we get through some of these ones. We’ve talked about the Shirt Day, we’ve talked about the seven year old Well, let me bring up some others. I have the rosae which is super fresh. I opened and tasted these wines just before our conversation, but maybe tell us a little bit about the rosae the great bass and kind of the style. You’re going for that sort of thing.

Richard Painter 19:53
Yeah, so the rose I it’s quite uniquely left field. That’s probably the most left field of all the wines Make so it’s a blend of several different grape varieties. So we use some Kino touch, which has grown here on the tea our vineyard is usually usually South Africa and it’s pretty rare in New Zealand now, phenotypes, but I think it makes a lovely rosy one. You know, it’s harsh, you know, in modern half sense. So in both those grapes individually, my lovely rose those so, you know, tears for me is the perfect Mosaic, right. She also use, some are nice, so nice. It’s an Italian wide variety and very efficient borrow, but also post some of that here. So actually take the two bikes and blend them together. So it’s almost a bit of a blush style rose. I always use that as the base for my rosae and then depending on what volume I’m at, I often top that with some mirlo that make a difference. I and also some Pino Berry. I don’t get hung up on what grapes I used to make the pros, I just use different wines to blend together to try and make the perfect. Well I try and make the light just off dry style. So it’s been about five to six games played a sugar, so just a handful of sweetness to balance that a natural acidity. And I’ll try and go for a lovely pale salmon colour.

Natalie MacLean 21:15
I think you’ve done your job. This doesn’t come off with any sort of sweetness. Oh, yes, sort of fresh, tiny Strawberry Fields Forever kind of summary note. There’s no residual sugar, heaviness, nothing. It’s dry and crisp. It’s lovely. It’s so light and so chilled as an aperitif or companion to, I don’t know, plant salmon or even lighter fare maybe.

Richard Painter 21:44
Yeah, I think we even side here with salmon on the label. But yeah, Rosie needs the perfect lunchtime wine as well, which is part of the reason we keep it nice and free. light and fresh and crisp. should only have 12 or 12 and a half percent alcohol. But for me it’s Yeah, lunchtime or as an aperitif. It’s just perfect.

Natalie MacLean 22:02
I love that you talk about lunchtime. Excellent. This is 12.5%. That’s lovely. And it is just so fresh. Just even in the glass. And then of course with Rosie do you suggest generally, particularly with your rosae? You enjoy them young? The vintage they’re made or maybe two years after Max?

Richard Painter 22:26
Yes, I think so. For me, Rosa is not a one year seller. You drink it young while it’s lovely and fresh. But suddenly after two years, they still taste very good. But I recommend drinking them. Okay, good.

Natalie MacLean 22:38
All right, let’s motor through here. We’ve got the ship. And we’ve done the TLR. Can you help me pronounce that again?

Richard Painter 22:47
Tr o t our t o r? It’s mowdy people New Zealand and T our means the river.

Natalie MacLean 22:56
Okay, yes, because I’ve seen the TE as a sort of prefix on some other wine labels in terms of New Zealand. So it’s good to know,

Richard Painter 23:07
the basic things that

Natalie MacLean 23:10
that makes sense. Okay, that totally makes sense. Let me just see if I have any other whites here I have. Maybe we should clarify what we can get here. In Ontario. Of course, we have people clocking in and watching us from around the world. So even Zealand lucky people, you can probably get most of these. But here in Ontario, or generally across Canada, I believe it’s mostly is it seven young blonde Pinot Noir or something like that maybe can remind us of what’s here right now or coming up soon.

Richard Painter 23:42
So neon Blanca is the only one that’s been released officially. And they were hoping to get rest of the range in shortly.

Natalie MacLean 23:48
Sure. Is that one, that flying fish with an onion at the pace? That’s very interesting. Okay, so but I was trying the penal Gree. And I thought that was really superbly fresh and often I find penal grease can be kind of what I call beige wines really boring, like choosing white for your walls in your house. But why is this one so fresh and aromatic? What have you done here?

Richard Painter 24:20
We go out here in Hawke’s Bay, and most New Zealand Pinot Gris tend to be grown and some of the cooler parts of New Zealand so your mole bruh Central Otago massenburg you know places where they typically grow Pinot Noir. So what we do is we brought in Hawke’s Bay because I love the wolf gives extra rich fruit flavour and what it means is they get a lot of flavour packed into the bread so you don’t need to leave as much residual sugar in the wine to get a flavour. I certainly agree with you that often pain or greed can be a little age. What we do is we grow as a peanut gallery in a cooler and land belly of Hawke’s Bay. So whilst it’s warmer, it is cooler and we We are here on camera rebels. So that helps retain natural acidity and freshness to the wine. But, man, it’s not too many tricks. Firstly just fermented in stainless steel tanks using nice aromatic yeasts for some of those flavours. Some interesting thing about ethnography is that when it’s for maintain it’s the most flavorful and aromatic wine never taste and then when finished has been it seems to just drop off Tibet try to lock in those flavours somehow.

Natalie MacLean 25:29
Yeah, like childhood, lots of ballet training and then just flops on the recital. But yours doesn’t. So that’s okay. All right. Let me see what else I’ve got here because I think I’ve gone through all the whites. Let’s dive into the reds. Let’s start with the Syrah. And here is the windmill again, I top a flying boat or something. Rick fan. Oh, yeah, that’s cool. So talk about Rob because I’m a big fan of cool climate serraj from New Zealand, especially that nice peppery, but what’s happening with serraj in a cool climate such as yours.

Richard Painter 26:11
Yes. So serrana is becoming a very exciting variety for us here in Hawke’s Bay, and the gimbal and gravels in particular, and historically, it has been a real focus on mirlo and Cabernet style blends, but lately Serato is becoming the real darling of Hawke’s Bay red wines. It’s a very distinctive style, like you say quite peppery and spicy, but you also get those lovely black fruits that theories and they retain a lovely fresh acidity as well which makes them stay fresh but they also aged really well. So very distinctive and very different to say an Australian shreds which has been a big rich, almost Jamie why we’ve still ansara and so much closer to Pinot Noir and that it’s quite fresh and aromatic and a little spice so it’s rather exciting and I think a Hawke’s Bay the future of red wine probably lies more in the surah traditional weapons.

Natalie MacLean 27:09
That’s really interesting because I get that pepper and the darkness and But still, it’s bright at the core. It’s not heavy. It’s really an exciting wine with a lot of potential. I love Sarah in the Rhone Valley of course, perhaps that could be considered its home or starting place but as an example in New Zealand, I think this is fantastic. It’s got the the best of both with the balance of richness and yet that lifted vibrancy at the core. Yeah, that’s fantastic. Okay,

Richard Painter 27:42
New Zealand ceram model was very much that northern Rhone style where they are more elegant and aromatic and fresh rather than, say Southern Oregon, which seemed to be a bit riper and full of body.

Natalie MacLean 27:54
That’s true. Let me see what else do we have here because I’ve got more. I love this Pinot Noir. So of course New Zealand is trending Pinot Noir these days. What are you doing with your Pinot Noir from left field?

Richard Painter 28:11
So our Pinot Noir is from the Melbourne region, so top of the South Island, so we do tend to think Hawke’s Bay is about one Pino, we hit south. Historically, we have made it on the Nelson region, which is on West northwestern part of the South Island, but we’ve recently moved it to Moldova, which is probably New Zealand’s most famous one region on the back of the Soviet bloc that comes from there. So typically mould rapanos Wilds have lovely red fruit flavours so red cherry strawberry, they also have lovely spice, like I always think of a bit of sort of raspberries and cherries with a bit of cinnamon on top. That’s malboro Pinot Noir. So the idea with our Litchfield Pinot Noir is it’s a lighter style very easy to drink and we make it an affiliate affordable style so it’s made on old oak barrels helps keep the cost down and it’s a really a sort of drink young to medium age type one so it’s a very easy drinking peanut. That’s one to enjoy.

Natalie MacLean 29:12
Oh yeah, selfishly I hope this one comes next after this so we know blow I’m a huge fan of New Zealand Pino because they just think the balance is there and yet we’re not paying burgundy prices. So it’s interesting. We got going on here we got a not a stork What is that? pink flamingos and Mingo on a windmill. So, again, it looks like someone had a bad dream and put it on a label but in an artistic way. Oh, and he’s got you know what i like figure two. It’s like instead of a biology textbook. That is so cool. And we have another way here. We have got your mirlo and this is somehow a deer hatching out of an egg.

Richard Painter 29:59
Do you know Have a hatchling deer. So that’s one of my favourite labels actually, I think nothing like a deer head to you know when you’re drinking a nice rich red one think of sitting next to the fire and a hunting lodge. I’m not sure

Natalie MacLean 30:11
we think of that but not coming out of an egg coming out of the egg.

Richard Painter 30:17
It’s pretty lifted.

Natalie MacLean 30:19
Okay, all right. So that could be the default explanation. It’s left field. Okay. So describe this one then. mirlo.

Richard Painter 30:27
Yes, I know. It’s the most widely planted read right here in Hawke’s Bay. So this one is Brian on our steak. So 2015 I think you have beers. Lovely. That one actually has a good blessing of Cabernet Franc and a little bit of Cabernet Sauvignon another as well. So it’s about 88% mellow, so it’s actually a bit more of a Merlot blend. For me, it’s a really classical Bordeaux style blend. That’s quite young, but the lithium ones are all made that can be drank young, aged and French oak barrels. So you get those lovely sort of flat black, Doris plum notes that you get with good mellow and the little dose of Cabernet Franc, add some lovely perfume and floral notes to the aroma. So I think that’s a very sort of elegant version of a mellow blend.

Natalie MacLean 31:16
What kind of calm Did you say, Doris, from?

Richard Painter 31:19
Black, Doris, come on, we get it’s one that’s quite often used in baking and cooking and things like that. I’m not sure if you have quite a dark plum with red flesh,

Natalie MacLean 31:31
like Doris and as in a woman’s name, d o ri s.

Richard Painter 31:35

Natalie MacLean 31:36
I’m putting that in a tasting note. Black, Doris plum. That sounds like Doris on a bad day, but rooting or whatever, dark and fleshy. And I love the plummy flavours that come through on that. So let me just grab these two over here, because we have the serraj. And I have the mirlo Cabernet. And it’s nice to taste the range.

Richard Painter 32:01
So there’s actually a great YouTube video of the lithium pictures that we’ve made. So if you put lithia wines into YouTube, you’d find it.

Natalie MacLean 32:11
So Richard, is there anything that we haven’t covered that you would like to mention about left field?

Richard Painter 32:18
No, I think we’ve covered them quite well. But I do urge people if they can try and find the bottles or have a look online, because they’re not just have quirky labels, each creation actually has its own backstory on the label, which is celebrating that lifts, field style, design style. And so some of those backstories are quite quirky, if you think the pictures are quirky when we read the backstory. And also we’ve used a bit of a mention of a blade, which in the tasting notes and things like that. So they are quite an amid whimsical sort of imaginative style design goes into the whole brand, the pictures, the tasting notes, the descriptors, the wines themselves, you know that it’s very consumer friendly wines, very easy to drink quality. And we’re also doing a few interesting things. I don’t think you have a sample there, mostly, but one of the ones, and we’re really championing alboreto. This,

Natalie MacLean 33:12
it’s not here tonight, but I did try a sample about two weeks ago was fantastic.

Richard Painter 33:18
Oh, right. Oh, that’s good to hear that. So we’re making an alboreto from jessalyn. And that’s something we’re really excited about. We think it’s got great potential. We’ve been making them for about three years now. And we export most of it to the UK and Europe. But maybe one day, we can get some of the Canada you know, it’s very lovely, fresh, aromatic wine, a lot of those qualities that make New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, just so appealing to people that freshness and purity and aromatic intensity, we’re achieving the same results with albornoz. So that’s something really exciting, we’re done, and hopefully something we can get across Canada Also, sometimes they can be good sooner than later, Richard, but alboreto of course we associate with northern Portugal fresh, clean, crisp, white grape in that family with gruner Veltliner and some others, of course, so young blonde, but these are fantastic. You know, I

Natalie MacLean 34:11
must say, even though there’s a strong branding component going on here, and a fascinating backstory with labels, the wines really stand alone. Even if they had horrendous labels, they don’t really taste fantastic. I do encourage people to try them. Of course, you can only get the Sauvignon Blanc, silver here in Canada, but who knows what the availability is in your region, wherever you’re tuning in from. So look out for them. We will put all of the tasting notes in the blog post. Richard, thank you so much for joining us. It was a great conversation. I really appreciate you taking the time to join us.

Richard Painter 34:50
Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me. And thank you everyone out there for joining us to seek out those Lichfield ones. Hopefully we’ll get some more available for you soon.

Natalie MacLean 35:00
Maybe this will encourage the wine choosing gods. But anyway, so you’re done your harvest. I don’t know what you’re going to do. But anyway you relax and we will talk with you again soon, Richard. Okay, cheers.

Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Richard painter. Here my takeaways. Number one, I admire Richard’s love of geography and soil. It’s so fundamental to understanding and loving wine. To this week, I am definitely trying his suggested pairing of fried snapper with lemon and a zesty cool climate Chardonnay, he young. Three, he observed that Chardonnay is often considered a winemakers wine since it can express so many styles and variations depending on the winemakers decisions, and of course, the terroir. in the show notes, you’ll find links to the wines we tasted the video version of this chat and a full transcript how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class and where you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube Live video every second Wednesday at 7pm. That’s all in the shownotes at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash 112. If you’re interested in hosting a wine and cheese or wine and chocolate tasting for your group, please email me at Natalie and Natalie MacLean calm. You’ll also find my contact in the show notes you won’t want to miss next week when I’ll be chatting with Rudy rebel who owns a family run winery in Austria that makes incredibly zesty white wines like gruner Veltliner that are a terrific match with seafood, shellfish, vegetarian dishes and a whole lot more. In the meantime, if you missed episode nine, go back and take a listen. I chat with Ezra sipes of British Columbia’s Summerhill winery about vegan and vegetarian wines. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.

Unknown Speaker 37:06
Our vineyard in Kelowna is certified by diameter as about an emic vineyard. It has extra rules Above and Beyond Organic, so organic sort of the baseline, which means that there’s no synthetics being used basically. And then there’s guidance on things they want to see about soil preservation and biodiversity and things like that. But biodynamics really codifies that you have to have at least 10% of your farm given over to nature habitat. And we have I think about 20 or 25% of our farms that’s wetland, we have a dry land, we have Meadow habitat, and then you really view the farm as an ecosystem. you integrate animals and animal manures and you really focus on making your own fertilisers from things you grow on the farm. We make a horsetail tea for mildew control, we make large amounts of compost and we add these herbal preparations to the compost to aid processes of decomposition. We spray basically a bacterial broth all over the farm that aid the life force if you will in the soil, but basically the soil food web.

Natalie MacLean 38:10
If you liked this episode, please tell one friend about it this week, especially someone who be interested in the tips that Richard shared. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week. Perhaps a zesty sowing yomo

you don’t want to miss one juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full body bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash subscribe, maybe here next week. Cheers