Thursday, 16 June 2011

Not taking the honour personally

By Mimi Avery, Wine Buyer

17 years ago I visited New Zealand for the first time. It was somewhat of an epiphany for me, for although I had an interest in wine owing to my family’s history, it wasn’t until I visited those vineyards and spent time with the winemakers that I knew I wanted a career in wine. And the winery that inspired me all those years ago was a small, family-owned and run business called Allan Scott.

Allan had been growing grapes for years and selling them on to the big guys but it wasn’t until 1992, the year before I visited, that he established Allan Scott estate, directly opposite Cloudy Bay. He was an early pioneer of Marlborough – he helped plant the very first Sauvignon Blanc vines at Montana and then planted Marlborough’s first Riesling vines at Allan Scott. I have loved the Riesling ever since I first tasted it 17 years ago and these wines will always have a special place in my heart. I returned to Allan Scott at the end of last year and although they have expanded and diversified, very little had changed since my initial visit. It continues to be a real family affair and one of New Zealand’s most inspiring estates.

Now, Allan has been awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queens Birthday Honours. However, when he first received it in the mail, he was going to refused it.
"He was talked around by his adult children Josh and Victoria Scott, who told him to do it for the industry he helped pioneer. "I think there's a lot more people who have done a hell of a lot more and are worthy of higher accolades," he said. Accepting a Queen's Birthday honour for services to the wine industry was about Marlborough and the industry, rather than personal gratification, he said."
Click here to read the full article in the Marlborough Express.

You can order Allan's wines here.

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