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Bailli Délégué Peter Besseling shares some snippets

Dear Fellow Confrères

It has been a while since I last shared some snippets of information about life on this side of the world.

We have enjoyed the most fantastic hot summer (2013) and whilst this has created a lot of pressure on the primary industries the New Zealand Wine Industry benefitted.

It is the start of the harvest season and vintners are looking forward to what potentially will turn out to be the vintage of the decade. We have certainly experienced one of the best growing seasons since the Nineties.

I would suggest that those amongst you who are familiar with our products, such as our Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc as well as Chardonnay can add Syrah to your list.
                                                                                                                                      The Hay Paddock

Please take note of this rising star that is utterly suited to our climatic conditions. Plantings have steadily increased. It is now grown, with great success, in a number of micro climates in various parts of New Zealand.

Te Mata Estate, The Hay Paddock, Bridge Pa, Trinity Hill, Mills Reef and Craggy Range – to name some very good examples - are a small number of an ever increasing group of quality focused wine makers who have added Syrah to their portfolio.

Perhaps we can arrange a tasting tour for some of you later in the year!

On a totally different note …

Of late I have listened to various people and thought about how to increase the profile of our Bailliages. We are after all an indulgent group of people who amongst other things enjoy the culture of the table, particularly so in the company of friends.

How other Bailliages fare in the way of attracting new members and being keen I would love to find out how that is dealt with elsewhere.

In New Zealand as in other parts of the world, we also have had some challenges we needed to face up to over the past couple of years. Combine that with a population base no larger than an average city in the world around us, as well as a sixteen hundred geographical spread it can be difficult at times to maintain motivation at an optimum level.

One idea in particular that has come to mind is the creation of a group called ‘Friends of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’. Instead of asking people to come along to our gatherings and as tradition has it, after three visits the person is expected to join. We simply create a letter inviting a candidate to become a friend of our organisation.

The way I see it, is that the person concerned can come to any function as a ‘Friend of La Chaîne’ during the year and by mutual consent be nominated the following year for membership.

With kind regards
Peter Besseling, Bailli Délégué          e-mail:

NB. All wine-related photos are the copyright of the respective wineries and published courtesy of them ...
Bridge Pa - website:
Craggy Range - website:
Mills Reef - website:
Te Mata Estate - website:
The Hay Paddock - website:
Trinity Hill - website: