No to the status quo

After 20 years in the wine trade learning from the many eminent and distinguished experts who dominate the industry, I am about to release the first wine that I dare put my name on.

It comes from a tiny piece of dirt on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Like the island itself, it is salty, harmonious, complex and refreshing.

Before moving to London in 1997, I studied and worked in the New Zealand wine industry for three years. I love New Zealand wines. I love their intensity, their ripeness, their richness. These more-ish, pungent, primary qualities of many of New Zealand’s wines have been responsible for much of their success in the international market.

Preparing to launch the inaugural Sam Harrop wine.Most sensible people would assume that with this clear formula for success I would follow suit. But the memories of the myriad of European wines I had tasted and had a hand in making over the years, still lingered. I wanted to challenge expectations and see if I could take New Zealand-grown fruit somewhere it hadn’t been before.

My ideal was a mid-point between the best of what the French and Kiwis have to offer – a more modest, mineral, linear style. Less pungent than most New Zealand wines, but more fruit driven; pure and less extracted than most French wines. Most of all, I wanted to make a wine with an abundance of personality; a wine style that would make the closest friends and the worst enemies; one that had the potential to age for many years and would be a great partner with food.

Fast-forward just over two years and we have three single-vineyard Chardonnay vintages, and two single-vineyard Syrah vintages under our belts. Brand and packaging is complete and all 1400 bottles of the first vintage are ready for market.

Next stop: tasting room…

Cedalion 2013 Single Vineyard Chardonnay is available in cases of six, by allocation. Contact info@samharropwine.com to reserve your allocation.