Hermann Seifried came to Harrogate yesterday. He is the owner and winemaker of Seifried Estate in Nelson, New Zealand. He tutored a tasting for the Harrogate Medical Wine Society at Hotel du Vin.
Tasters started drifting in from 6.30 in the evening. They sipped Sauvignon Blanc, chatted and mingled.
Hermann, who flew in to London from New Zealand only the previous day, came with Chris Mooney of Fells who was instrumental in putting this event together.
“Hermann Seifried came to New Zealand to take up an apple winemaking job with the New Zealand Apple and Pear Board in 1970. Growing up with five brothers on an apple orchard in Styria, Hermann always had an interest in viticulture and oenology and went on to study winemaking at Weinsberg in Germany. He gained experience working for the KWV in South Africa before heading to New Zealand. After meeting Agnes, a Kiwi girl off a Southland farm who was teaching at the local high school in Nelson, Hermann decided New Zealand was where he wanted to stay. They married in 1971 and with little more than a dream, the young couple purchased land in the Moutere Valley between Nelson and Motueka and began the long process of hand grafting phylloxera resistant rootstock onto cuttings. In 1973 on the gently northward sloping clay loam the first vines were planted. With 14 Vinifera varieties, on two hectare of land, the South Island’s modern commercial wine industry began.”
Hermann is a big man, quiet, charming and soft spoken. We sipped low alcohol sauvignon Blanc and chatted before sitting at the long table to taste seven of his wines. Dinner was served after the tasting and we drank Gruner Veltliner with Ham hock terrine and Celeriac remoulade, Pinot Noir with Pan-fried Salmon, Crushed sun blush tomato & black olive potatoes and sweet Riesling with a Red berry pavlova.
- Seifried Old Coach Road Sauvignon Blanc Lighter 2014 (9%): No spinning cones or reverse osmosis is employed to reduce alcohol but grapes are picked early with high acidity and low sugar levels. The wine is aromatic, acidic, light bodied and attractive. (14)
- Seifried Aotea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2014: Aromatic, clean, rich and fresh with fine fruit. A delightful wine. (16.5)
- Seifried Estate Riesling 2014: 18g/l residual sugar makes it rich and full. Excellent Riesling. (16)
- Seifried Estate Gruner Veltliner 2013: Sweetish and without varietal definition. Did not impress me. (14)
- Seifried Estate Pinot Gris 2012: Smells and tastes like an Alsace Pinot Gris! Rich and lovely. (17)
- Seifried Aotea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2014: I am not a Gewurztraminer fan but this wine pleased me. Just off dry, it is one of the best I have tasted and would be very happy to buy a case! (16.5)
- Seifried Nelson Bay Würzer 2014: Only Würzer in New Zealand – Gewurztraminer/Müller-Thurgau cross. Aromatic but a rather odd musty smell and taste. (14.5)
- Seifried Aotea Nelson Chardonnay 2013 (14.5%): Oaky but has good fruit and acidity. (15.5)
- Seifried Nelson Bay Zweigelt 2011: Bright, light and full of pleasing fruit. Would make a lovely sipping summer red. (16)
- Seifried Aotea Nelson Pinot Noir 2012: Ripe, silky and appealing. Went well with salmon.(17)
- Seifried Nelson Sweet Agnes Riesling 2013: 165 g/l of residual sugar. Good acidity to counter that. (16.5)
- “Wow, what a lovely story. Thank you. Hermann spoke very highly of his evening with you all, so it was nice to see the photos! We’d love to make mention of you blog on our Facebook page – are you happy for us to do this? Many thanks, and very kind regards,” – Anna Seifried , SEIFRIED ESTATE, Nelson, New Zealand, 22 September
- “Really enjoyed last Monday’s tasting. Lovely wines and really interesting listening to someone so passionate about his life’s work.” – Jane Greenwood, Leeds, 24 September
- “What a super tasting, Bernard. For a “Red woman” I just loved all the white wines as they each had a wonderful nose and tasted so good. Surprisingly the only red, a Pinot Noir was not to my liking.
Charles and I were so lucky to unexpectedly land up next to Herman and Chris from Fell’s, so it was a really entertaining evening. Herman made the history of his company and their wine making methods so interesting too. His wine maker daughter has great talent.The meal at Hotel de Vin was a great improvement on our previous visit with more acceptable portion size which helped make an excellent occasion. So thank you so much for organising it and to Ian for his introduction and vote of thanks.” – Ann Joslin, Harrogate, 23 September
- “What an enjoyable evening with Hermann Seifried at the Hotel de Vin. The presentation was quietly effective with many interesting facts. The wines were consistently good, well constructed and are very reasonably priced. The meal was also good, well served and the venue pleasing. I hope you will consider an offer of some Seifried wines from Fells in the near future.” – Dr. Stephen Cameron, Pick Hill, 23 September
- “Thank you so much for arranging the wonderful NZ tasting on Monday at the Hotel du Vin. I really enjoyed the Riesling – so fresh and full of character and also the Gewurtz which was so refreshingly different to the Alsace wine, yet with the same variety of sensations. Pinot Noir was also very good – a NZ Pinot Noir is always high on my favourite list! Herman’s presentation was excellent. The hosting at the Hotel du Vin was also first class.”
– David Morris, Harrogate, 23 September
“An excellent evening and we felt privileged to take part and listen to such a charismatic and interesting winegrower as Hermann Siefried.
All the wines were high quality and our favourite wines of the evening were the Aotea Chardonnay, Gruner Vetliner and the Aotea Pinot Noir.
We are not normally fans of Gewurztraminer but this one was exceptional and it would be interesting to drink in a few years down the line.
Hotel du Vin did us proud with a lovely supper and exceptional service.
A very big thank you Bernard for arranging it.
– Pat & John (Shore), Harrogate, 22 September
- “Just a short note to say, really enjoyed the tasting last night. As someone who doesn’t usually care too much for Gewürztraminer the Seifried example last night was really different and enjoyable. Hermann Seifried was a delightful and enthusiastic speaker. Enjoyed the supper , the staff were friendly and attentive. An enjoyable evening thank you for organising it. Best regards.” – Carol (Murphy), Ackworth, 22 September