Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Salavare Estate in New Zealand Starts Slow Wine Movement

April 13, 2010

I like this movement. It has the potential to do great things for people all around the world. Great things will happen when people slow down – I suspect research would show one of the dimensions of greatness is the ability to go slow – even when things are spinning out of control.

We all need to take a moment and feel what Steve Nathan from Salavare Estate in Hawkes Bay New Zealand is suggesting. Below are his comments from his web site and Facebook pages. While he specifically, suggests slowing down and enjoying all things Hawkes Bay – which we should do  – we can  adjust his suggestions and go exploring the fun regions around the world that produce food, wine and travel with sense of spirit and bring that spirit to our daily routine.

Thanks Steve!

Being small and relatively new to the wine industry has not stopped Steve and Bev Nathan of Hawkes Bay winery Salvare Estate trying to promote an idea they think will benefit both wine lovers and smaller “boutique” wine producers in New Zealand.

Since opening their tasting room at Bridge Pa twelve months ago they have been promoting a “Slow Down” theme through their Salvare label, which includes range of local Hawkes Bay wines and a number of food lines such as Olive Oils.

“At Salvare we believe in a slower pace of life, in taking time to enjoy the journey” said Steve ” We believe the same of wine, that it should be enjoyed, not consumed. Whether it be with friends or family, good wine, like good food creates lasting memories of shared experiences”

In addition to taking things more slowly, one of the key tenants of the various “Slow” movements, including Slow Food, is that we should “buy local and eat local”. That we should know where our food comes from including, where we can, the people who grow or make it. The Nathans believe we should add “drink local” to this mantra.

“We believe one of the best ways for the New Zealand wine industry to stay viable in the current climate is if more people drink locally produced New Zealand wine. Where possible from a small winery near them or where they have actually visited the winery or vineyard and met the people involved, rather than from some large, faceless corporate producer” said Nathan. “It takes times to do this, which is the whole point and if more people drank handcrafted wines from small producers they would also have a much more diverse wine experience”

For the Nathans the best part of being in the wine business is the fact that they get to meet the people who purchase their wines as they visit their cellar door on Ngatarawa Road. “We take time to talk them about how the grapes are grown, how the wine is made and about our “Slow Down” philosophy which people really appreciate. In fact lots of them like it so much they purchase one of our “Slow Down and enjoy the journey T-shirts”

So next time you’re thinking about stocking up your wine cellar why not join the Slow Wine Movement and head out to one of the small wineries near you like Salvare and “Drink local, buy local”

“At Salvare we… (read more)Mission:To get the world to Slow Down and enjoy the journeyProducts:

Salvare Wines

Hawkes Bay Viognier

Hawkes Bay Chardonnay

Hawkes Bay Rose

Hawkes Bay Merlot

Hawkes Bay Syrah

Olive Oil


Chardonnay Mustard

Manuka Honey and Chardonnay Mustard Vinaigrette

Winerax Modular Wine Cellar System


Origins of No Cookie Cutter Wines

November 17, 2009

Over the last few years I have been showing different small production Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand. Two wines were from different regions in Marlborough, the Golden Mile and the Awatere Valley. Another the Waipara Valley near Canterbury. All have different approaches in the vineyard and winemaking to include blending of Semillion, another high density vineyard planting and yet another the subtle use of barrel fermenting. All are produced in small quantities of less than 3,000 cases.

In New Zealand, wines like this are the minority in terms of total litres produced and the majority in terms of number of producers. About 87% of all New Zealand wine producers make less than 25,000 cases per year. This means the majority of wines found outside of New Zealand are from the bigger players, this makes sense.

Here is an exchange that took place in London that highlights why much of New Zealand’s wine never leaves the country.

“I also met 2 charming Antipodeans from New Zealand who were working in Bristol to whom I apologised beforehand about part of my talk re the additives in cheap New Zealand wines.”

Their reply was “Please don’t apologise. It’s a well known fact back at home that the cheaper wines are produced for the masses and the locals won’t buy it – so we send it over to you!”  You can read the full article here.

For this reason, it was not uncommon to hear  the phrase “No Cookie Cutter Wines”  because most people had and still have not been exposed to this side of New Zealand wine. So I filed the comment away for future use. At the same time there were many comments about wines from many places all starting to taste the same and it made sense to use the comment for a greater purpose.

Here are few writers who have used the phrase Cookie Cutter Wines to describe this category of wine. Alice Feiring, Frank Prial, Howard Goldberg, Eric Asimov, a web search will find more.

Today, we have a simple site with some guest commentary about wine. The site is open to those who have a story to share. With today’s changing flow of wine information, this is one more place to both contribute and find new and delicious wines. We will also develop the regional themes in the image below.

Include Your Story

New Video Featuring Croatian Wines

October 6, 2009

Croatian Wine Roads takes viewers  through Coastal and Continental Croatia, following the magical world of winemaking. Meet the people, the places, taste the foods and wine from this historic region

Franjo Francem, recognized Croatian enologist and young Croatian Wine Queen Nataša Puhelek, go on a four-seasons trip throughout Croatia. They’ll take you to most famous Croatian wine cellars and introduce you to secrets of winemaking.

Franjo Francem meets a well-known Croatian actor Igor Galo, who shows us “red” Istra – land of Malvazia, Muškat and Terran. This film presents you, in a unique way, the rise of wine production in Croatia and lovely scenery of the wine regions  of Franjo and Nataša.

You’ll have the opportunity to experience the meaning of the Croatian wine story. The film  “Croatian Wine Roads” takes you to a beautiful storyline of winemaking: from the first bud, paring the vineyard, green crop, to the first bunch, harvest, late harvest, frosty harvest and resting all the way to wine preservation.

More information about Croatian wine & all about exclusive wine package:

For more information please contact:

Mandrak Productions

Seth Godin on the tribes we lead | Video on

May 18, 2009

In this video Seth Godin talks about Tribes and how they create meaningful impact in all parts of the world. We have created the No Cookie Cutter Wines and related web sites for this purpose. To be a place where artisans and consumers can exchange ideas and experiences. And the magic that results from food, wine and friends.

The video is 17 minutes and I believe you will find it inspiring and will empower you with a sense of purpose. If it is related to artisan handcraft wine or foods or travel to special places, please share it here with other like minded people.

Introducing No Cookie Cutter Wines

January 23, 2009

Two Choices for 2009

We can embrace the status quo and be like a frog that sits in a pot of water with the temperature rising to the boil and end it all. “Or, we can engage” and participate together online in the many Social Media opportunities.

You represent or produce unique wines, food orcookiecutter_red3 travel opportunities from around the world. I have a similar venture importing wines from New Zealand. We are beginning to develop an online community to generate conversational marketing about artisan food, wine and travel from around the world. Perhaps we can help one another.

We invite you to join us in the world of No Cookie Cutter WinesTM


The No Cookie Cutter WineTM community is geared to food, wine and travel insiders and consumers from around the world who “get it” about real people, real food, real wines from real places.

However you describe it, Social Media, Blogging or Web 2.0, it’s for real and happening in real time, right in front of us. We all have a choice to engage this new way of communicating or step aside and watch its evolution and influence.

We have made the decision to engage and share. And we invite you to join us in this community.

The platform enables contributors like yourself to post videos, images, blogs, news and commentary, at no cost. We’re creating a place for introducing, educating and attracting consumers to the food, travel, and most importantly, the wines from small, unique producers. The hidden gems, in other words.

Each region or country has a dedicated web site within the No Cookie Cutter WinesTM community. For example, will showcase conversations from New Zealand wineries, importers, artisan food producers, tourism boards and others. People like yourself will be the initial contributors, and the dialogue will continue as other professionals and consumers share their stories.


If you have ideas and stories to share, we invite you to become part of our community. We’ll create a free account for you to begin publishing. Or if you prefer to have me post it directly, I’ll gladly do that and credit you as the source.

Attached you’ll find more information about No Cookie Cutter WinesTM. We hope you’ll join us in spreading the word, about the world of handcrafted food and wine and travel to special destinations.

Please also feel free to send this along to others with a passion for the world of No Cookie Cutter WinesTM. Our community has just begun and we welcome other like-minded individuals.

Join us today at http://www.No

October 10, 2008