So here is our Xmas Special, another No-Expense-Spared MAXiMOViE,
Two Paddocks Xmas Two
With an All Star Cast, featuring Lady Caine, that gorgeous Paddock Idolette, and gorgeous Jacqui Murphy as Ace Reporter Gorgeous Jacqui Murphy.
With appearances from Keith, Simon, Mike and The Prop. Introducing Abby, Lisa, Tim and Tom.
And including a possible Christmas Miracle (not authenticated by The Vatican ...yet).
Wait for the end credits, and say it is so ...
With much love and deep thanks to all our Two Paddocks distributors, retailers, customers, friends, fans, companions, peers, drinkers, ratbags, colleagues, critics, supporters, allies, believers, bon vivants, fellow actors, employees, contractors, sales personnel, Roger and Stu and Hana at microdoodle, waiters, restauranters, sommeliers, producers and directors, tweeters, facebookers, Dean & co at Cowco, Mike and Jacqui and all our Home Team , Alistair of the Books, followers of this blog, our beloved webmaster Cathy, and enthusiasts everywhere! Happy Holidays to all of you!
14 December 2012
The Guru Has Landed
The Age of Aquarius. Again.
Every few months we receive a visit from our friend, mentor and adviser, the Esteemed Wine Guru, Larry McKenna.
Larry, the founder of Martinborough Vineyards and then Escarpment Wines, is one of the true greats of NZ wine, and in particular, Pinot Noir. He acts as a sounding board for us, and as our source of sage advice on all manner of things, and has been doing so since the earliest days of Two Paddocks. We value his wisdom on viticulture, wine making, business, Pinot, the Meaning of Life and more.
Among other things, we looked at our 11s (now in bottle) and 12s (in barrels), and were elated to find them "stellar."* The Prop ecstatic, and Larry nodding in benign approval. Top job from Dean, Phil and Co at COWCO. (*Quoting The Prop here.)
And Larry just as smiley when looking at our three vineyards, which in spite of the efforts of Jack Frost, are looking damn fine – well done Mike and Co. Good karma all round.
As they say in mystical circles -- OM.
Jacqui , Dean , Mike and Larry at The Last Chance Vineyard. Every day, in every way, we get a little better!
12 December 2012
More New Kit
I’m Too Sexy For My Tractor
This week we took delivery of a new piece of gear, a State-of-the-Art inter-vine mower. The Boys are beside themselves with excitement, and look forward to an even Greener Future in The Paddocks with this stunning beauty.
As with all new equipment, it will require the necessary statutory time for being fully stared at before deployment proper. Here Tom, Mike and Simon give it a good once over on arrival, but we calculate it needs another 15 man-hours of staring and tyre-kicking before being fully commissioned.
Groovy Gear, Man.
10 December 2012
Yes, great relief floods the Paddocks, as the grisly business of Movember is at last over. The moustaches are gone, and life returns to normal.
Judging took place in the first week of December, and proved more straightforward than expected. Of course before all competition began, all contestants were put alongside the sheer luxurious magnificence of the Prop’s Mo (a non-entrant due to an early start), and, rather unfairly, were all of course rather overshadowed.
Jenny and Lisa were appointed judges, with Jacqui as adjudicator. The finest ethical standards were observed at all times, and no correspondence will be entered into etc. The judges’ decision should be considered final. For now. Contestants were judged on length, fulsomeness and aesthetic qualities. [ 1056 ]
The contestants attempts could be fairly described as follows:
Simon -- Good try, but disqualified himself by shaving absentmindedly before judging. Idiot.
Tom -- New boy. Ineligible.
Keith -- Non-starter. Hopeless.
Mike -- Startling visual gag of a mo, with clearly ironic Hells Angels/Ho Chi Minh references. Should have lost mega points in the aesthetics area.
Tim -- Good all rounder.
The Prop -- Non-combatant, but clearly the gold standard.
In a surprise decision, and gasps were heard from the crowd, the nod went to Mike’s Mo.
Shock waves were felt around the vineyards, and rumours included money having changed hands, brown paper bags sighted at smoko and so on.
John Key, PM, in conjunction with David Cameron PM (UK) has announced a Parliamentary Inquiry. This will, as always, settle nothing, but Something will have been Seen to have been Done.
In the sprit of sportsmanship, for which our country is so justly renowned, the Loser (Tim) shook hands with the Winner (Mike).
Two Paddocks has made a monetary contribution to fighting Prostate Cancer on behalf of the winner.
1 December 2012
Team TP Top Ten #72
The Prop: What’s in the Empty Canyons of his Mind Right Now.
Songs that You Can’t Get Out of Your Head. In a Good Way.
Yes - the unfocused eyes, the slack jaw, the suggestion of a little dribble on the chin ... you could easily make the mistake of thinking there is absolutely nothing going on in The Prop’s vacant skull.
Not so. There is usually a great song in there somewhere. Echoing around those deserted chambers.
Yes, the vineyards are vibrant with new growth, the staff are flat out, the Prop will be home any day now, in other words it's all on.
The corollary to this, and the downside as far as the women of the region go, is that it means it's also Movember, and the boys are at it again, growing moustaches as fast as they can for charity – prostate cancer.
From left to right, with their chance of a win:
Simon -- No new ground broken here, this is pretty much the all-year-round fungus, and that's probably as good as it gets. Outside chance, but could improve.
Tim -- Doing alright. Well shaped, with reasonable growth rate. Could be a reasonable bet.
Mike -- Top growth rate, but likely to lose points with the addition of the 70s metal/ Last Emperor extensions. Worth a punt if he takes some fashion advice.
Keith -- As last year, simply desperate. Will be tested for HGH at the end of the month and likely for disqualification at that time. A poor bet.
In the meantime, they are doing all they can to get over the line again at the end of the month. Judges this year to be announced later.
Footnote: The Prop is not able to enter, having worn the mo spectacularly since April. Could qualify for a special prize for long service and outstanding idiocy.
4 November 2012
The Freefencer Departs
Last week, Nathan packed his bags, and set off for the wide wide world. Puzzlingly, he has elected to leave the lavish comforts of bachelor TP life in favour of married life in Greymouth, on the West Coast. And a new career in fencing.
As is the custom, we threw a commemorative lunch for Nathan at TPHQ. Nathan (at the rear of the table) made the longest speech in our long history of long speeches. Mike replied at length, followed by Jacqui at longer length, followed by just about everyone else at endless length, by which time it was time to go home.
But first it was time to cut Nathan adrift. Hardly hyperventilating at all, and with a few fond tears showing for his immense gratitude for all the good times, Nathan walked away bravely into the scary future. Note he is wearing (a gift from TP) his leather fencing apron. Which is not unlike a Freemason's apron, except for fencers. Maybe they have a Freefencers' Lodge in Greymouth, who knows?
Staff waved Nato farewell. More tears. And got back to the wine as soon as he was out of sight. We all wish Nato, and his bride, all the very best.
Sad to see a promising career in viticulture abandoned just like that and so soon. Secretly, however, we think that the glitzy, glamorous allure of the world of farm fencing will eventually wear thin, and Nathan plus Mrs will be back in the familiar world of the grape before too long, leaving the bright lights of Greymouth behind him.
2 November 2012
We S---. You Not.
We have mentioned before that we are enthusiasts for matters Bio-Dynamic at Two Paddocks, and Mike in particular is gung-ho about this approach. He is the King of Compost. We go the hard yards to ensure healthy soils, healthy vines, and ultimately healthy wines.
We’ll spare you a lot of the photos of what we do in this regard: frankly they are not for the faint hearted. And it’s fairly technical too – the Prop gets a little heavy lidded when staff get too engrossed in the subject.
But here is a glimpse – mixing CPP (Cow Pat Pit) in the bath; made from fresh manure, egg shell flour and basalt rock dust (on the left).
And digging up our Preparation 500 (made from cow horns and cow manure) which we bury in the autumn, and dig up for use in the spring (on the right).
We could go on about Rudolf Steiner, full moons, the rhythms of.....zzzz....zzzz....gaaahh .... No! No. I was just resting my eyes. Honest!
22 October 2012
The Prop On Tour
Two Paddocks in Northern Ireland
Well, who knew wine selling was such a serious business? Here the Prop is employing the hard sell in Belfast. Many thanks to The Ivory. Great night.
18 October 2012
For two far too brief weeks in the Spring, our lilac comes powerfully into flower, at about the same time the migratory birds are back in full force. The perfume is almost overpowering, the visuals psychedelic.
Mike took Greens Man Keith and Long Short Pants Man Tim to the Lilacery, for a brief photoshoot this week.
Keith stays in character throughout, showing considerable Botanical skills, well demonstrated for the camera. His companion however, the one closely related to the Prop (see fig 2) was unable to continue to stay serious. Oh well ...
16 October 2012
Team TP Top Ten #71
Imogene Poots, Actor
Ladies, Gentlemen and Denizens of the Dayglo! Tonight a True Treasure of the British Cinema, spinning phonograph recordings for our collective pleasure! Make way, if you will, and a roof-lifting hand please, for the Utterly Delightful, .. Miss Imogen Poots>>>!
13 October 2012
The Wandering Palate Writes ...
The Bard of Vino – his work.
Curtis Marsh, that splendid figure of the World of Wine, writes about ... us!
Well, you know us – we never enter our wine into competition, ever. Somehow, however, our 2010 Two Paddocks slipped through the gate, and found itself at the extremely prestigious International Wines and Spirits Competition in London this year (...Jacqui?). And lo, we win gold!
We leave it for the judges to describe this wine, and sit back glowing with false modesty and validation of all we thought of our 2010.
Gold Outstanding -- Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2010 Wow! Nose is a bouquet of floral aromas, violet and rose, changing into dried herb and bergamot, before turning dark and smoky. All these scents darting through a sweet, rich and inviting core of cherry and framboise fruit. These elements combine in the mouth to dance a sweet/savoury tango. Twirling and stamping a very authoritative presence, with effortless grace. Pretty darn good stuff.
Mike, Dean, and all our team, take a bow! Okay, that’ll do. Let’s all look humble again ...
We are thrilled, actually.
*(Webmaster's note: It's not just "gold," it's "gold outstanding" which is the top prize! Go team!)
6 October 2012
Shakira, our cow, in spite of weeks in the connubial company of our neighbour's bull, it seems is NOT in calf. She has just been putting on weight. And pulling our legs as a consequence. Another phantom pregnancy.
We are not a little disappointed. Our plans for fresh milk are put back for another twelve months.
So that's it for honeymoons for our cow. Next time (November) it will be the vet, and the intervention of veterinarian science. No more leaving things to romance. AI,
This photo is from last year, incidentally, when she still had her girlish figure.
4 October 2012
Dress Up Time
Fancy as ...
We have some really old pear trees on the property at Redbank, maybe two dozen of them. Ancient really, as fruit trees go. Gnarly and grizzled, yet bountiful. But every spring, they put the years behind them, and dress in their finest. Rather like lovely old girls putting on something frothy and white, joining the party, and ... well ... feeling young again.
1 October 2012
Team TP Top Ten #70
The Proprietor's Essential Beach Boys
Stung by repeated accusations of idleness, the torpid and horizontal Proprietor slouches to the stage to finally offer up his Best of the Beach Boys. No need for hush ...carry on ... Press here to go straight to the Dayglo.
29 September 2012
New Ducks – Indian Runners
Running from what?
Our menagerie of the familiar, but slightly off beat, creatures increased last week when we took home four young Indian Runner Ducks.
Slightly hilarious, but very charming...
Indian runner ducks are in fact Indonesian in origin, not Indian at all. And they don't fly, but run around instead, like speedy penguins.
Here they are acclimatizing for a week or two in the chook run, before they will be allowed to join the free range anarchy, which we relish here at TPHQ.
27 September 2012
In Spring We Plant
Yes it’s springtime ... lambs abound, the first green shoots are on the trees, the cow may or may not calve (will she or won’t she – we have no idea), and we continue with our extensive planting of native plants. Particularly around the water courses. We are very encouraged by the first return of various native birds, just as they are encouraged by us!
So last week, the Prop and Mike having taken a trip to the Tapanui plant nursery a few weeks ago, the team planted another 100 or so trees and shrubs by the creek.
Redbank is looking simply more gorgeous every year. Call in and see us, look for yourselves ...
22 September 2012
Team TP Top Ten #69
Michael Sheen OBE, Actor
Ladies and Gentlemen! The TP Dayglo Disco is open again, the velvet rope is up once more, the bouncers are back ... but that’s just for show – we let ANYONE in. Even politicians.
And this week, one of the most acclaimed and accomplished actors of his generation, or any other generation. The simply magnificent...applause please...let me hear it for the great...MR MICHAEL SHEEN!>>>
19 September 2012
Where To Go In London
Worth the trip.
Today we called by London’s top wine merchants, Haynes Hanson & Clarke, and their smart, chic and friendly establishment in deepest Chelsea. (Two minutes’ walk off either the King’s Rd. or Fulham Rd – South Kensington tube).
Here you will find some of the world’s greatest wines (including, naturally, your favourite and our’s, Two Paddocks). Ranging from the absurdly expensive, to the generously underpriced and good value for money (Two Paddocks again).
They are Burgundy specialists above all, so we sit happily there amongst distinguished company indeed. Go in and have a potter. They are extremely helpful and informative. And they deliver.
Much as we would love you to stagger off with a case of TP under each arm, we also recommend buying a mixed case if you have the readies. Something of an investment if you happen to be able to afford it. That’s fun. Whites and reds, and different countries. Or if Pinot is your thing, and why wouldn’t it be, a mixed case of New and Old World Pinots. Oh alright, stick with Two Paddocks if you must ... and just a bottle or two at a time if you prefer – up to you. We love loyalty in a client.
Ask for Jim or Siobahn (pronounced Sha-vawn). Both lovely.
Haynes Hanson & Clark www.hhandc.co.uk
7 Elystan St
London SW3 3NT
+44 207 584 7927
14 September 2012
It’s Lambing Time
And the weather is pretty nuts.
Yes, it’s springtime in the vineyards, and our Suffolk ewes are now lambing.
And here is one new chap (altogether now - “Aww, cute !”) with his, or her, Mum.
All good so far ...
And given how random the weather is these days, after the mildest winter anyone can remember, wouldn’t you know it, the next day it snowed. Tough on a brand new wooly chap. Note the apricot blossom seen through the falling snow. Well, that’s farming.
Yes, the team are winding up the very last of the pruning, and here they are at First Paddock, Gibbston.
You might notice no sign of the Prop among their number. That’s because ... er ... someone ... um ... had to take the photo.
You might also notice an unpleasant suntan being sported by Keith, who has been on a sea cruise, while the others have been doing his job ... we write this through gritted teeth.
Anyway, we look forward to a great new growing season, which shows every sign of starting early. And a first crop off the new vines at Gibbston, which we planted in 2007-8.
31 August 2012
Our chickens, despite having safe and warm lodgings in the henhouse, seem to prefer to sleep rough, like with their wilder avian cousins.
Come sunset, they make their way to their favourite alder trees, and along with the guinea fowl and pheasants, roost the night away, perched on branches high above the ground. This may be some kind of evolutionary devolution. Or perhaps they imagine themselves to be in some kind of multi storey, New York condo life style.
Either way, as the night draws in, these trees become, for a short time, a rowdy neighbourhood. And then, when its dark ... silence. You can walk past them, and never know they are there. Spooky.
In the meantime, as they get more and more feral, egg laying is increasingly an informal and al fresco business. Each chicken tends to favour her own private bush, and we need to be vigilant indeed to keep ourselves in breakfasts.
Mike is trying to entice them back to a more civilized life, tempting them back into their hutches at night with various chook treats, but has only met with limited success. Mostly they regard bribery with haughty disdain.
28 August 2012
This is massive.
The Prop is back, striding around the vineyards.
Staff are standing straighter, the pigs are perkier, the vines are vimmier, the chooks are singing arias (Puccini in the main) ...
However, a marvelous thing just today. We have been planting hundreds of native trees and shrubs over the years around watercourses, on our hills and so on. We not only think they look good and always seem at home in our landscape. But more than anything, we want to attract back native birds, for whom there has not been much in the way of attraction in the valley for the last few decades.
Then for the last two years, they have slowly started to return. First , a couple of years ago, grey warblers and fantails began to arrive.
Then Mike began to report that a couple of bellbirds were seen, and a tui. The Prop was skeptical, but hopeful . These birds are true icons, much loved, but rare indeed.
And then today, the clarion call – like a bolt of lightning down the spine. As the Prop walked through the trees, just behind him, a bellbird at full throat. Almost brought a tear to the eye. A dream realized.
Interestingly this bird had an entirely different song to those over the hill. Now looking out for a tui ...
Funny how the simplest things can be the most delightful and rewarding.
1 August 2012
No Waste Wasted
One of the secrets of our best practices in the vineyard, a key to sustainability and to the organic practices we employ, is ... okay let’s not beat about the bush ... is cow shit.
There, we’ve said it.
Our gorgeous cows, Shakira, Gong Li and Gor Di, do their bit. And then we pick it up.
Here’s a pile on a trailer. Simon and the Prop take their ordure duties seriously, and look to be in some kind of crap NZ Gothic picture.
31 July 2012
Breakfast of Champions
Breaking bread with E’sensual
In the bleak midwinter, in Central Otago, the wine producers of the fair province of Otago hold a smaller celebration, E’sensual, devoted naturally to Pinot.
This year, Two Paddocks along with our Earnscleugh colleagues at Three Miners and Grasshopper Rock, hosted a breakfast and tasting at TPHQ on the Saturday, 28th July.
This was an opportunity to evaluate how our Alexandra subregion differentiates from the rest of Central, and what quality abounds (we think).
An international line up of good sorts, in the main sommeliers, had a couple of hours with us and very welcome they were too. We await their verdict of what they thought of our wines.
Present: Julianna Bossini Tudgey, Luke Dallow, Dan Wards, Conrad Banks, Nicola Davies, Stephen Wong, Ian Isaacs (New Zealand), Tony Harper, Penny Grant, Jackson Watson, Josh Fraser, Sarah Limacher (Australia), Rebecca Leung, Hugo Cheng (Hong Kong), Khan Cha (Thailand), Jan Rosborn (Sweden), plus Phil from Grasshopper Rock and Jeff from Three Miners.
12 July 2012
Team TP Top Ten #68
Vinnie Jones, Footballer, Actor
Ladies and Gentlemen! We regret to inform you that the Dayglo is off limits this week pending discussions with The Authorities who slapped various notices us this week -- certain safety issues relating to the disco dance floor, if you must know. We will keep you posted. In the meantime we sent the M.C. (the Prop), with time on his hands out on the road, in search of the next Top 10 contender. Didn’t take him long to run down the living vivid legend ...Football Luminary, Hard Man, Really Nice Guy and Movie Star ... The one and only ... MR VINNIE JONES!!!>>> (as always, click on the name to see our guest's Top 10 list.)
8 July 2012
The Proprietor’s Cellar
The Prop writes for James Halliday’s Winefront Monthly about his shambolic stash. (Also published in James Halliday's Wine Companion.)
Ladies and Gentlemen -- Tonight in the Two Paddocks Dayglo Disco, special guest DJ, actor and movie star, Aneurin Barnard. As always, for a direct limo ride straight to the Dayglo with VIP passes, press the big blue name as follows
... MR ANEURIN BARNARD>>>
23 June 2012
Réunions des Propriétaires
Le Prop, tirelessly globetrotting, presently in the ceaseless pursuit of all things vinous, found himself last week in the Cotes de Provence.
And just to demonstrate his conscientiousness, here he is with the amiable winemaker and co-prop of the excellent Château des Marres in Ramatuelle, Laurent Natalini.
These small bottles of their Roses are conveniently sized for a modest petit déjeuner à deux (continental breakfast for two).
17 June 2012
Microdoodle #10: Weather Feather
The Proprietor feeling on top of the world.
12 June 2012
Team TP Top Ten #66
Toa Fraser, Director and Playwright
Ladies and Gentlemen! And Eurotrash. Welcome to the Dayglo Disco, your very own doofdoof – free club, where Cristal spraying is positively verboten, and if you think we might play The Gypsy Kings' My Way - THINK AGAIN! And ... oh oh, that’s the Eurofolk gone – so, it’s just us then. Happily the aircon is back, the suds will be on about 5 am, and in the meantime - tonight’s very special DJ is nearly here, a man possibly from Mt. Raskol, but flown direct courtesy of Two Paddocks Virtual Air (first class, where only those with dangerous allergies are served the peanuts, Fairtrade of course), one of New Zealand’s finest literary talents, and latterly a major contributor to our National Cinema. A man who has pushed the Prop firmly out of his comfort zone not once, but actually twice: once to play the Rev. Dean Spanley in the eponymous film about 3 years ago (a man of the cloth with a vaguely canine dimension), and then to appear LIVE for the first time in 30 years on the actual stage in Bare last year in aid of Christchurch (playing a part written by Toa as a drunken female dog lover). A man we rate very highly indeed, a sharp observer, an excellent companion, an insightful director, a graceful writer, and look, why don’t we get out of his way, here he is coming up on stage, and with more useful things to say in five minutes than we could muster in a month, a man who would love Two Paddocks, the libation, if only he wasn’t actually tea-total – and big ups for that my friend! - the writer and director of one of our very favourite films – No. 2 – make absolutely sure you see this movie – a lovely fellow indeed – here he is the one and only ... Mr TOA FRASER!>>>
8 June 2012
Another first, as far as we are concerned ... this year we left some Riesling behind on the vines, which we finally picked this week in deep midwinter.
The grapes are, as shown, very shriveled and botrytis affected – very sweet and very intense. We only have two bins to show for it, and thus a mere single barrel ( this translates to perhaps 450 half bottles in all).
Dean is ecstatic, and we anticipate a very interesting late harvest riesling (spatlese in German).
The Prop has earmarked 430 of those bottles for his own consumption.
2 June 2012
Team TP Top Ten #65
Lena Headey, Actor
Ladies and Gentlemen! A respectful hush if you please. Please! Welcome back to the Dayglo and another Bacchanalian Bacchanal, another night of song and...oh sod it, you know why you’re here. However may we take this opportunity to apologize momentarily for the heat in here – not only has Andrzej the Polish Plumber stuffed the air-con, but our special guest has single-handedly raised the mean temperature on the Dayglo floor by a good 20 degrees. It’s the way she wears that dress.
Yes punters and puntees, all the way from Hollywood California, and before that, London England, it’s the talented and utterly gorgeous Lena Headey! All you Game of Thrones fans...yes it’s your actual Lena, right here in the Dayglo – but we’ll have none of that pogo dancing here thanks. Or are you Man City fans? We’re confused... Anyway, you know her best, other than that, from The Brothers Grimm, 300, The Terminator on the telly, and heaps of other stuff...but we know her best when working with the Prop three times – The JungleBook, Merlin and the upcoming Mariah Mundi – The Midas Box. And you’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the upcoming Dredd. She’s always brilliant, always funny, and we are very fond of her here at TPHQ.
And here she is with her Top 10. Actually, looking at the list, we see she has gotten out of control, and chosen more than the allotted 10...Oh Lord, where is the discipline these days? I’m afraid it’s 10 or nothing, young lady!
Bring her up to the stage, let her pass you mongrels, here she is – a vision of loveliness, our old friend and all round good egg, the simply ravishing ... give it up for ...
27 May 2012
How to Stay Warm
If you happen to be a small pig.
Alright, we acknowledge that this is a wine site, and we’ve had more than one pig story this year, but look, we aim to help. For instance, you might just be a small pig ... well, you might be ... and say you were born at the beginning of winter, and your big fat mama has a habit of wandering off, just wandering away for no apparent reason, and you need to see where she’s got to, just to check she’s coming back and hasn’t just abandoned you for ever and ever, and in looking out the door of your little piggy home, you get shivery shivery COLD, and probably a little teeny bit SCARED, and ... and ... oh no, you just can’t see Mum, and everything is so large and frightening and freezing out there, and where is she, because you’re simply STARVING not having fed for at least five minutes, and ... and ... you haven’t even seen your brothers and sisters for ages and ages, at least half a minute, and all you’ve got to wear is a few ginger bristles, whereas those enormous, white wooly animals over there seem to come with wooly coats made from what looks like ...well ... wool, and you’re feeling more and more anxious, and cold, and even a little teeny weeny bit PANICKY ...
...what do you do then? Turn and RUN. RUUUNNNN!
And, quick, that’s better, there they all are, all your brothers and sisters, all running for the same corner, and then you jump -- stacks on the mill, and if you’re smart, you see if you can push your way to the BOTTOMof the pile, that’s the warm spot, even if it is a bit ... er ... smelly, and sometimes a bit hard to breathe, but oh oh oh, it’s so so much better than all that out there.
Yes, that’s good. Mmmm. Aaahh.
So ... does anyone know ... where’s Mum? Anyone?
19 May 2012
Team TP Top Ten #64
Roger Donaldson, film director
Ladies and Gentlemen!Tonight, exclusively at the Dayglo, an Old Friend and Old Bodgie (and we say exclusively with confidence since no other club will allow him back, not after the last time), a man we’ve known since 1977, since the fateful day when the Prop received a letter out of the blue from Hong Kong (yes, a letter, remember them?) from two strangers, Roger D and Ian Mune, offering him a part, the lead in a FEATURE FILM! Blow me down with a feather! Now this was freaky; no one had made a proper movie in New Zealand for 15 years (the late great John O’Shea)...this was so far off the radar as to look like a hoax, or something similar. But it turned out to be a real thing, and a few weeks later the Prop was trying to work out how to act in ... well ... a motion picture. (Still working on that.) And make it we did.Sleeping Dogs -- perhaps not the greatest film in the history of cinema, but a milestone for all that -- one that kick started a film culture if not an industry, as such, in New Zealand. And, of much lesser significance, meant a modest start for the modest screen career of the Prop, such as it is (enduring thanks Rog). And, in a round about way, lead to the existence of our distinguished wine label – Two Paddocks.
Roger and the Prop have stayed firm friends over the years, and indeed planted their first vineyards side by side in 1993. Their initial idea was to form a small company together (hence Two Paddocks) - this evolved into two companies – Two Paddocks (the Prop’s), and Roger’s Sleeping Dogs. And if you have never tried our neighbours’ Sleeping Dogs Pinot, we urge you to do so as soon as possible.
Of course, there is a great deal more to Roger’s career than that; he was only just beginning, and a raft of Hollywood films followed. Our favourites here at Movie Nights at the Dayglo (every second Monday, dress according to movie theme of course, unless it’s zombie night) are No Way Out, The World’s Fastest Indian, The Bank Job, Cocktail (for Bryan Brown), The Bounty (for the stories) and Smash Palace. He has become one of the very best, and one of the most successful of today’s Hollywood directors.
And look, there he is now, coming up on stage with, of course, one of the World’s Great Women, Marliese D, and NO to all of you fools who thought that was Bill Clinton coming in the room – GET REAL! Here he is, annoyingly eternally youthful, irritatingly talented, charming and urbane, a good cook, a good mate, an unflagging father (we lost count a while back), an Aussy come Kiwi come Los Angeleno, a legend and a lout. A big Dayglo roar (go on make as much noise as you want – we flout the by-laws here) for our friend, our colleague, our mentor and our ally – the great ... MR ROGER DONALDSON!!
16 May 2012
This might look like some prosaic piece of farm gear to you, but to us, this is akin to the holy grail.
Pictured is a Millcreek compost spreader, which arrived this week, imported all the way from Pennsylvania, USA. Yes folks, exciting indeed. The lads are delighted with the latest in boys toys; no more shovelling by hand.
And the vines as well – spreading compost to a grapevine is really spreading the love, as far as they are concerned.
14 May 2012
Ginger a Mum
"After a time of wonder, etc..."
In fact we were beginning to wonder ... was Ginger really pregnant, was Angelica not up to the job, oh, a thousand doubts.
And then last week, a month or so later than we thought ...
Mike Wing takes up the story:
Ginger had eight little piglets on Sunday night, the coldest day of the year with snow and rain, but they are all healthy and still alive on day two. She didn't use the nice hay-lined shed we renovated for her; instead she made a nest of dead grass and sticks in the corner of the paddock. We have added more hay to her nest as the poor little piglets seem to be always shaking.
It’s warmed up now, and all eight little chaps doing well. Here Ginger seems more than content to be a mother – check the blissful smile.
12 May 2012
Team TP Top Ten #63
Jenny Morris, musician
Ladies and Gentlemen! I give you fair warning, and I’m only going to say this once ... the next idiot who wolf whistles is out on his ear, and banned for a fortnight! Yes, I know it’s Jenny Morris, well I would wouldn’t I – jeez, I book the acts for goodness sake ... and yes I know she’s the sexiest damn thing we’ve ever had on the Dayglo stage, but any more of that crude carry on, you louts down the front, and I’m bringing out the yellow card! We won’t have it!
Here she is, Ladies and Gents. You’ve asked for her, and at huge expense, and an even greater effort, we’ve flown her in on Two Paddocks Virtual Airways First Class (where everything is complimentary, except the lifejackets – negotiate at the escape hatch, please). She’s one of Australasia’s greatest ever Chanteuses, a rock legend, an all-class, all-sass, all-singing and geetar playin’ sensation. And we love her here at the Dayglo for being a great NZer as well as a great Australian (Order of Australia, Brava that girl!), a model citizen, a tireless worker for charity. We play and love her stuff all the time here (the Prop’s particular favourites are Tears, Break in the Weather, Gonna Get Hurt, She Has to be Loved, You I Know, and the Paul Kelly song Street of Love) ... But more than all of that she’s a great pal, generous, funny, good company, and she’s lovely. Give it up please, big time for a National Treasure, the one and only, the gorgeous ... JENNY MORRIS!!
9 May 2012
Two Paddocks Riesling
A great new wine
A couple of months ago we quietly released our very first
Two Paddocks Riesling (2011), so quietly we hardly noticed ourselves ...
Of course we have been producing Picnic Riesling for 10 years now, and very splendid it is too.
But our Two Paddocks Riesling is, we think, a step up in quality, and is a vineyard site selection. It is also a drier styled wine (about 4 grams residual) as opposed to the Picnic which is perhaps more "off-dry" (8 – 10 grams residual).
It is a superb wine, even if we say so ourselves. There is not very much of it – only 140 cases – and most of it has gone to Glengarrys – a good place to pick some up. This wine will cellar beautifully, if you can resist drinking it right away (good luck with that!).
Ladies and Gentlemen! Quiet please. QUIET! Good, that’s better. Wouldn’t want to send any of you to see Mr. Turner after school now, would we?
Welcome back to the Dayglo Disco, ravers! Sorry we’ve been closed for a couple of weeks – some Russian oligarch took a block booking for that time, and then failed to show – another lesson hard won – the Dayglo first and foremost is The People’s Disco, and that’s the way we like it! So, good to see you, friends and neighbours, ne’er-do-wells and ratbags! Good to see most of you have a bevvy or two at hand, and what could be a better foot-facilitator than a large glass of TP Pinot?
Speaking of friends, here’s a very old friend (as in not very old, but as in long standing). Since 1970, to be precise. First spotted Simon whipping a Vietnam demo outside the Wellington Town Hall into what passes for a frenzy In NZ (ie. one or two tapping feet and nodding heads) belting out Street Fighting Man, while thrashing what was probably a vintage Strat. Needless to say, the last thing any of us wanted was to be actually fighting on any streets, but this was riveting stuff nonetheless.
Okay, we know the Dayglo is no place for biography, but bear with us for a moment – This is Simon Bloody Morris we’re talking about here! Our favourite show-off guitarist! Our favourite film reviewer! (overlook for a minute that there is no record of his ever giving the Prop a favourable review) Our favourite raconteur! Our favourite irrverent broadcaster (big ups to Simon & Phil O’Brien for turning the National Programme on its head and making the Dog Days of summer bearable with the sublime and hideous Matinee Idle). Our favourite student of obscure musical facts! [ ‘ He gives trivia depth! ‘ John Clarke ]. Here he is, sprightly, courtly, curmudgeonly, wildly enthusiastic, outrageously funny, perpetually amused; he knows more about music than NASA knows about space, and we knew he’d make a killer Dayglo DJ. Look at him making his way to the decks: a credit to the airways and an adornment to his country....Give it up please for Mr Rock n Roll himself....Mr Simon Morris!
1 May 2012
"If You Could Talk to the Animals ..."
Well, some of us do, as it happens. Whether they understand every nuance is another matter. It’s the thought that counts.
The Prop deep in conversation with Lady C.
Photo courtesy of Grahame Sydney, of this Parish.
29 April 2012
Rockstar Rocks Up
From woah to go in six minutes flat.
Our new South Suffolk ram arrived this week, seemingly a glad sight for our girls, who haven’t had a boyfriend for ... oh, exactly a year.
(Those of you who keep up with this blog will remember the fearsome maniac George Gleegun who had his wicked way this time last year, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake, including the untimely death of the much beloved Baa Baa.)
Mike is of the opinion that this new chap, now called Mehrts after the most amusing All Black in living memory, is a far more courtly fellow than his predecessor. Mehrts was seen to chat up the girls for at least five minutes before getting down to business. That's five minutes more than George ever bothered with.
Well, here’s to gallantry and good old fashioned manners, you old charmer ...
Mehrts alights from the limousine.
He immediately senses the proximity of girls. Woah!
And gets his bearings. Yep, they’re over that way.
Mehrts trots off on a very important date. I’m late, I’m late ...
The girls spot the new arrival. Well hello Big Boy! And hello to you, Good Lookin’!
Mehrts is almost immediately swamped by admirers.
And then it’s Hello Darling! Hello Darling! Hello Darling! etc ...
27 April 2012
Bob leaves the stage.
It is with deep regret we announce the retirement of Bob.
Bob has decided to hang up his boots, and instead give his golf shoes more of a workout.
Management and Cru are taking the news manfully enough , but are quietly certain that in many ways Bob is irreplaceable. We knew it was coming; Bob is after all now (a sprightly) 70, but nevertheless it’s a big change to take on board, and we will miss him.
Still he only lives just down the road, and Bob promises to come back in times of emergency, or even a tight spot. Could be worse.
Bob breaks the news at smoko. The Cru reel in shock.
Keith slumps despondently knowing his mate won’t be around much any more. And that his legs will be uncontested as the most risible at work.
24 April 2012
Looking good ...
As of Friday, all our grapes are picked, and are now at COWCO under the tender ministrations of Dean Shaw and his team.
We are confident we have a very good vintage on our hands; the boys are happy with our fruit – the numbers are good, taste profiles also -- clean and bright delicious fruit. Excellent job from Mike and the Grand Cru.
The Prop is humming. In tune.
Simon on quality control.
Redbank giving it up – wonderful pinot grapes.
Our Riesling on the way to glory.
Every year, a United Nations of grapepickers.
17 April 2012
Man and Pig
You may ask, what do these two (pictured) have in common?
Here is a short helpful list of some common interests, in no particular order.
Standing around not thinking of anything in particular
Making grunty grumbly noises
The female of the species
Leaning on things, in particular gates
4 April 2012
Team TP Top Ten #61
Emeritus Professor Dr. Michael Neill
Ladies and Gentlemen! Quiet please! Thank you, thank you. Now, a word of advice, which may come a little late ... but, too bad. Right, so here’s the thing – if you want to get an early education in, and appreciation of, good cool music, get an Older Brother. Like this one. Ideally about five years older than yourself, and one that’s kind enough to let you listen to his stuff. So, flash back, if you will , to sleepy obscure Macandrew Bay, Dunedin in the 50s and 60s, a half timbered house on Howard St – still then unsealed and dusty - and upstairs - two boys, in short trousers, still a bit British/Irish , fairly shy... and here’s the older one, easily the cleverest – the one I would catch the train with when off to our respective grim boarding schools, and later the same bloke off to Otago University in Mum’s Fiat 500, and there, while no one actually says so, he becomes, in hindsight, something akin to a beatnik. Yes, a duffle coat, pipe, bongo drums...and I can’t be entirely sure, but I seem to remember an actual beret. Maybe it was a black sombrero. Details aside, the important thing here is, we have adjoining rooms. So, when small, he would usually deign to talk to me as we drifted off to sleep, play with his Dinky toys and even (the single most kind thing he ever did for me) read me Treasure Island, complete with blood curdling pirate voices etc. And on his Pye radiogram, he’d play all this cool music. Elvis, Bill Haley and the Comets, The Lord Invader, The Mighty Sparrow. And then later cooler stuff still – Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, Mingus, Miles, Cannonball Adderley... some of it a bit challenging when you are 12, but when you have an Older Brother, you take their word for things, and wisely so, because they are usually right. This was the real deal – then as now. Stuff that took you right through that comfortably tiled roof above you, away from the green empty windswept Otago Peninsula to another world altogether, an imagined cosmopolitan world, full of saints and sinners, and women with hips, and smoky clubs and woah... now the Brother has girlfriends, and he’s acting in plays ; man this looks cool ... And then suddenly all too soon, he’s off to Cambridge University, and we never live together again ... And so then it’s time for me to find my own growing up, and my own music and... And quickly it’s The Kinks, and The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and, Good Lord this is GOOD...and I wonder if The Older Brother is also listening to this over there among those dreaming spires? Will we ever know?
Dayglo dancers! All these years later, here he is ... one of the world’s greatest authorities on Shakespeare, Jacobean Theatre, modern African literature, and lots of other things above and beyond thickies like you and me. To this day an enthusiast and student of great music. The finest of fellows, and the best of brothers ... a big big hand for ... MICHAEL NEILL!
2 April 2012
The Prop is home again for vintage, and Mike Wing keeps a close eye on the Hill Block Pinot – mod size bunches, and brix close to satisfaction, with good flavour profile.
Ten days and counting. Cross fingers ...
28 March 2012
Team TP Top Ten #60
Roger Hall CNZM QSO, playwright
R E S P E C T! And a bit of hush, if you please, The raffle has been drawn – this week’s meat tray, as always, was won by Bryan Brown of Balmain, On ya Bryan! And Toni Collette won the Limbo competition for March – big hand for Toni! How LOW can you GO!
So now it’s time for the rare glimpse of culture we occasionally afford you here in the Dayglo -- culcher to you Rossco -- tonight, all the way from Takapuna, New Zealand’s most successful playwright, the urbane, the dry, the droll, the determinedly un-doolally, he is to NZ what Alan Ayckbourn is to England, Neil Simon to America, Chekov to Yalta. Look at him cutting the rug down there on the Dayglo floor: ballroom specialist, compulsive cyclist and ocean swimmer, with the figure to prove it - that man can shake some ass, his best known plays you’ve seen many times -Glide Time, Middle Aged Spread, The Share Club, After the Crash, Gliding On etc. There’s masses of them -- indeed looking around the room, it’s clear at least half of you have BEEN in a Roger Hall play,..he is a pillar to NZ Theatre, a brick to his friends, a menace at charades, a patron to The Starving Artists of NuZild .. we rate him and value him more than we can say,..a man who has invaluably contributed not only to the life and times we live in, he has in large part defined those times ... give it up please for the Mild Man of New Zealand Culcher ... our very own ... the wonderful ... MR ROGER HALL!
27 March 2012
Are You a Wine Expert?
Mr Clarke asks the hard ones.
The excellent John Clarke, of the Parish of Melbourne, puts you to the test. For each 'yes' award yourself a glass of any Two Paddocks wine. For any 'no', console yourself with the same. Two glasses if necessary.
You have all the time in the world.
Turn over your test paper now.
Do you have more than two books about wine?
Are your other books about food, rugby and Neil Diamond?
Have you ever held a glass up to the light, rolled the wine around and said, "Yes. Excellent."
Do you think the wine is better if the bottle is covered in dust?
When you hear that something has a good nose, do you you think of Gerard Depardieu?
Do you think Sangiovese is quite a handy flanker from Hawkes Bay?
Do you send wine back, but order the sausages?
Have you ever stopped singing 'Danny Boy' in order to ask a friend which side of the hill the wine comes from?
Do you regard anything over $12 as an investment wine?
Do you think a garagiste is a person skilled in the housing of tractors?
When you see a refractometer, do your bowels tighten slightly?
Do you think Chateau Margaux is where Rudolf Nureyev had his barrique
Do you frequently tell people red wine is good for you because it contains antioxidants?
Have you ever considered refraining from eating oxidants?
Do you wish to personally congratulate the man who invented the screw-top wine bottle?
Do you swill a small taste of wine thoughtfully around on your palate before spitting into the sommelier?
When you hear mention of a drip dickey, do your thoughts turn automatically to the trouser?
Have you ever consciously attended a horizontal wine-tasting?
When you enjoy a Reserve Pinot, do you secretly hope one of the other Pinots gets injured, so it can get a run on the park?
When being breathalysed, have you ever asked the police officer for a pH reading?
Put down your pens.
You may now take your holidays.
23 March 2012
Team TP Top Ten #59
Jonny Coyne, actor
Ladies and Gentlemen! Are you ready to rock? You what? I said are you READY...?
Terry, turn up this bloody PA, the punters won’t shut up. Good, thanks mate, yeahbetter. LET ME HEAR YOU – ARE YOU READY TO ROCCCKKK??? Oh, geeze, sorry Mrs Guthrie, are those your eardrums that appear to be, well, bleeding? Terry, you prat...yes, your fault...
Ladies and Gents, my apologies, and let me introduce, right here on the Dayglo stage, the most loved actor from that landmark series Alcatraz, our very own Mr Jonny Coyne! Stand up Jonny! Oh you already are, sorry old boy... Here he is, shorter than some actors, but taller than others ... all the way from a part of Norf Landon that we’ve never heard of, and have no intention of ever visiting ... Jonny is at the same time both British and a good Greek boy. He has had a long and distinguished career in the Theatre, and has the vowels to prove it, and has done masses of good work on the telly (Sharpes War, The Bill et al) and various movies (Irina Palme, Lara Croft Tomb Thingy etc.)- look at his damned IMDb page because he wants you to...and so on. Which should put to rest once and for all, those unkind rumours that Jonny was somehow responsible for the eventual collapse of the Greek economy, and potentially Europe’s as well. Look it’s just too easy to pin all the bad stuff that’s going down on Jonny – really he’s only to blame for some of it. And his absolute excellence in Alcatraz as the dastardly Warden James should, in some measure, make up for it. Here he is, one hell of a fine actor, one very available single man (ladies, no rush please), a man of considerable wit and dubious personal habits, good company and bad news...here he is, Cyprus’ answer to Brad Pitt ... Give it up, if you please, for the immaculate, the hip, the hop, the rockin’... a big hand for groooveee ... Mr JONNY COYNE!
22 March 2012
The Proprietor’s Pleasures
The old sod
Yes, the Prop is back in res after a daring escape from Alcatraz; an epic swim, swatting off sharks like an Aussie bats away flies.
Anyway, fantasy aside, it’s a delightful to wander about the vineyard, saying cheerful hellos to animals, growling at Bob, and so on.
Mike has been doing a splendid job in the Prop’s absence, and a few inches of recent rain plus the ministrations of Keith have the place looking gorgeous.
One of the Prop’s obsessions is the planting and nurturing of native trees and plants, not just because they make a glad sight, but also because they attract native birds. No tuis or bellbirds yet, but fantails and grey warblers are here this year. This ditch beside the orchards we’ve planted with several hundred metres of massaes of toi-toi, cabbage trees, NZ flax, various NZ hebes, as well as totara, kowhai, ribbonwood, etc.
And on days like this, sometimes the reflections on the dam seem somehow more potent than the thing itself.
Time for a swim. Couple of laps a day, and I should be fit enough to swim back to Alcatraz ...
13 March 2012
Team TP Top Ten #58
Benedict Cumberbatch, Actor
Today, not just one of the world’s finest actors, but hands down the actor with not only the most difficult name, but simultaneously the most distinguished name ... Mr Benedict Cumberbatch! (And here we hasten to add that Benedict is absolutely not to be confused with those somewhat lesser actors Burnybun Crumblybatch, Binder-twine Cummerbund or Bendydick Lumbercrutch.) No, it’s Benedict himself ... we are delighted he’s here as our Special Guest DJ, not only because he is an avid music fan, but also because (and this is a first we believe for Dayglo DJs), he can actually dance! Gather round, yokels and other denizens of the Deep South, and see how it’s done – all the way from the dives of Soho and the South Bank, here he is to show us the latest dance craze from the North (and here thanks to The Hobbit and Peter Jackson) ... Mr Betterfit Clumsypants!
As for his acting ... well you know him best for ... well, just about everything ... because he’s in just about everything! We’ve just been watching him in the wonderful Sherlock -- big ups, bro -- next thing you know he’s in JJ Abrams new Star Trek, Spielburg’s War Horse, Tinker Tailor, having been great in Atonement, Creation, and Amazing Grace, and so on.
We got to know him in South Africa on To the Ends of the Earth (BBC), just after he’d astonished us all as Stephen Hawking in Hawking ...but look, he doesn’t need any more spruiking from us here in the Dayglo, his career has more momentum than a runaway train. And he, like us, is here to do the boogie-woogie. Here he is, the best of fellows, a miraculous actor, and an excellent friend...applause to the max please for the great...Mr BENEFIT BLUNDERBUS!
10 March 2012
Startling revelations to reporter from Huffington Post.
We don’t normally post articles here on the blog (see Articles and Reviews), but we make an exception here, because it made the Webmaster chuckle, which is notoriously difficult. And we print the Q&A in full, with thanks to the Huffington Post.
So, "Alcatraz" is pretty spooky. Tell me more about it.
It’s a J.J. Abrams show, so you can take that there will be a sci-fi element to it, but the bedrock of the show is in Alcatraz itself, that little strange haunted island. The story switches between 1963, when all these guards and prisoners disappeared, and the present day, when they all start reappearing for reasons that will become apparent as the show progresses.
I play a character named Emerson Hauser, who is a grizzled veteran of a number of campaigns. He’s an FBI guy and has worked on a different number of cases in very bad parts of the world over the years. He heads this task force which on the one hand has to neutralize these dangerous people that are coming back, and on the other hand they are also in the business of finding out who’s behind all this.
Does "grizzled" mean you don’t have to shave?
No, it means he’s weathered, like me.
Do you think you’re weathered?
I’ve been around the block. Yes, I’ve done quite a few things, including a movie that was No. 1 at the box office, "The Vow." That was a bit of a surprise. You never know what people are going to see, but there’s no denying the pulling power of Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. They’re hot and they’re not grizzled.
You seem to get cast as smart characters pretty often. You don’t get cast as an idiot.
Well that’s a good thing, isn’t it, if that’s the case? It hadn’t occurred to me before, but thanks for pointing it out. I’m too stupid to notice!
I think it’s your voice. I can imagine you as a university lecturer.
Funnily enough, my brother’s a university lecturer. He’s an intelligent man in contrast to me.
Are you the village idiot of your family?
Yeah, I’m the thickhead of the family, no question.
Aren’t they proud that you’re a successful actor?
I certainly always detect a certain amount of surprise that I’ve actually been able to earn a living from it at all.
I've heard rumors that "Jurassic Park IV" might be happening. Any details you can give us?
I know no more than you. I’ve heard nothing, and furthermore, I’m very disinclined to believe anything on the web altogether apart from my own website twopaddocks.com, which is entirely authoritative about everything. The website is about my winery.
Do you like to raise the glass?
It would be perverse to be a serious wine producer and not drink.
But there’s a difference between drinking and drinking.
Do you mean, am I a heavy drinker? Do I have to be driven home? I certainly don’t drink and drive, if that’s what you’re implying, but of course I think wine is one of life’s great pleasures and enhances most anything.
Have you been driven home?
Without question. It’s not a regular thing, as opposed to when I was a youth. Nobody has to stop on the way, if you get my drift. I don’t get drunk, but I’m a great believer in wine.
You’re very different from what I expected.
What did you expect?
I guess I thought I’d be a little scared of you.
I think you should be. I think that’s a reasonable response. You should certainly be scared of Hauser in Alcatraz.
Hauser finds evidence of a crime at New Alcatraz. Jonny ‘Warden James’ Coyne prime suspect.
Well, it’s goodbye to Alcatraz, goodbye to Hauser, and goodbye to those fun times.
18 February 2012
Team TP Top Ten #57
Bob Campbell MW, Writer and Educationalist
Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome back to the Dayglo! Yes, apologies – we’ve been closed for a couple of weeks so that Andrejz and his Polish Plumbers could complete yet another dazzling reno here at the "World’s Most Garish Nightclub" -- Christian Science Monitor. Delays were unfortunately necessitated by having had to relieve various Kardashians of their décor duties – their innate good taste proved to be problematic. However Desiree’s inspired suggestion of hiring Barry Manilow as consultant proved to be a winner, and now we’re back bigger and better than ever, slap bang in the middle of the world’s biggest lava lamp. That, combined with Barry’s inclination for a Safari sub-theme (How about those zebra pattern banquettes?) and the Dayglo feels more exotic than Marlon Brando in Tahiti!
Today, on the decks, please welcome a most distinguished man of letters and booze, a man who has done more to put New Zealand Wine on the map than just about anyone else we can think of (mind you we’re not exactly thinking at our best right now – after all, this is Dayglo Dancing Dementia time). He's a wine buff, critic, judge, educator, writer ... He has worked with wine for almost 40 years ; good lord, he’s marinated in wine. You can find his work in the Wine Spectator, Decanter, Gourmet Traveller, North and South etc, and books galore. He travels everywhere, speaks everywhere, judges all over the world, and has drunk absolutely everything. His unflagging enthusiasm and immaculate palate are legendary, as is his wit and bonhommie. Let’s face it, writing and talking about wine can often be a bit ... well, dull – Bob Campbell is a glorious entertaining exception.
Give him a big hand, Disco Divas, we unfortunately don’t have time today for Bob to give us the skinny on wine, he’s here on equally serious business – he’s our D J tonight...make way please for the one and only...MR BOB CAMPBELL!
8 March 2012
Final Days Shooting
All cast and crew received a bottle of TP Picnic Pinot, in thanks – a great crew who worked their rear ends off for our show.
And then the Prop went out on the town, for crab cakes and celebration. And drank unwisely. Well it wasn’t Two Paddocks, and some other wine producers are making wine that is awfully high in alcohol. Easy to get it wrong.
Okay ... a lame excuse. Pass the tylenol, if you please.
18 February 2012
Team TP Top Ten #56
Glenn A. Baker, music writer, broadcaster
Ladies and Gentlemen! A little hush if you please in the Dayglo...we know the Kahluas and milk are kicking in about now (for those of you who unwisely choose not to be drinking Two Paddocks on this your big night out) and you’re all a tad over-excited, but look, tonight you’ll not just be dancing, but you might just learn something. Because tonight’s special guest DJ knows more about rock, and pop, than pretty much anyone else alive. So much so he won "Rock Brain of the Universe" no less than three times on the BBC. It has been his life’s work. At last, someone who knows what they are talking about.
Not just that, but he’s managed bands (notably Ol’ 55, with the brilliant Frankie J. Holden), writes music, has done his time – decades – on radio and television, run record labels (you remember actual records...Raven Records he runs to this day), written countless books and articles on music, and heaps of other stuff. We love him at HQ as he helps while away the hours on our favourite airline QANTAS with his regular audio programme "Reelin' in the Years."
He is a scholar of music, a booster of Australian music in particular, and above all a fan. He knows everyone living or dead in popular music, and has stories about them all. He is also a generous and good bloke, he’s great company, and we are delighted to have him here in the Dayglo (this weeks colour – chunder-chartreuse), a big Dayglo Dazzle of a hand for the distinguished and learned...Mr GLENN A. BAKER!
16 February 2012
A time of plenty
At this time of the year, our orchards overflow with abundance. And our pigs make ... well ... pigs of themselves.
And then again, so do we.
The newlyweds picnicking up large.
11 February 2012
Team TP Top Ten #55
Fred Schepisi AO, Film Director
Ladies and Gentlemen! And Rob Sitch! Tonight, a very special DJ appearance in The Dayglo Delite, a formidably distinguished Lion of the Cinema, and a Great Australian, and not least an old Two Paddocks friend, ally and supporter, one of the key figures in the cultural renaissance that Australia enjoyed in the 1970s and 80s, and a leading light in Antipodean movies to this day, as well as a director of great import internationally. You perhaps know him best for The Devil’s Playground, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (btw, how interesting to see Tommy back in Red Hill wreaking revenge once more!) The Russia House, Six Degrees of Separation, Last Orders, Empire Falls and the recent Eye of the Storm with Geoffrey Rush and Charlotte Rampling. But here at HQ we know him best for Plenty and A Cry in the Dark ... because the Prop appeared in both along with La Streep ... an inspired DJ choice by Dayglo management not least because of Fred’s profound interest and knowledge of music (see his movies as an insight into that) and because of course we love him to bits. A gentleman, a lout, smart cookie and clown ... here he is ... lurching up to the stage, half tanked and half ahead of all of us ... roaring and right! Put your hands together for our great friend and delightful colleague ... a big Dayglo Disco welcome please for ... Mr FRED SCHEPISI!!>>>
10 February 2012
What price liberty?
"Caged birds accept each other, but what they long for is flight." --Tennessee Williams
Our chickens, indeed all our fowl, are never caged. Except at night, when they retire gracefully to their safe and secure feather lined sleeping quarters in the coop. Turns out though they care nothing for flight, but the liberty to roam at will means everything to them.
And roam they do, in gangs mostly. At any given moment you can find yourself mobbed by a bunch of your feathered friends anywhere around the vineyards.
All our chickens are famous -- the sharp eyed will be able to identify Laura Dern, Lady Gaga, Sir Ian McKellen, and more -- but they still act like fans if they think you might be a star. To them, a man with a bucket is a star, and in a matter of moments, you have a flashmob on your hands.
But freedom, as elsewhere, can come at a cost. The bird at large can find itself prey; danger can come from both the sky (hawks), or from behind the next bush. (stoats and ferrets).
So, regretfully, we need to intercede from time to time. With ferrets anyway. Hawks we just try to scare away. But the ferret type predator is a dangerous and destructive beast – sometimes you'd swear they kill for fun – and Mike is forced to take sterner measures.
As Nelson Mandela said "Freedom would be meaningless without security at home and in the streets."
Maybe our pal Kris Kristofferson was right when he said "Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose." Except your life ...
It is ironic that some of the most beautiful of creatures are also the most lethal. Could be a lesson in this ...
4 February 2012
Team TP Top Ten #55
Jimmy Barnes, musician
Ladies and Gentlemen! And John Hay! It’s Living Legend Time! Tonight, the house is rockin’ larger than life and considerably more dangerous, a Great Australian, the veritable embodiment of all things rock n’ roll, an artist with more hit albums than any other Australian, a survivor, reviver, a testifier, family man, Working Class Man, all class hero ... and a good friend. We are lucky to have him here in The Dayglo, and lucky to know him, generous, funny and a consummate entertainer. Here he is, courtesy of Two Paddocks Virtual Airways (So cheap, we did away with the planes). First Class only for a first class bloke ... A big Dayglo hand if you please for the wonderful ... Mr ... Jimmy Barnes!>>>
3 February 2012
Organics at Work
It may seem like crap to you, but to us it’s gold.
We are firm believers here at Two Paddocks in organics and biodynamics. So our cattle, our two miniature Belted Galloways for instance, are not only decorative, but they also provide that most elementary of fertile materials – manure.
So we send the team up to gather the cow ‘pats’ for use in Mike’s compost ‘teas’ and other brews as sanctioned by Steiner et al, for use with our vines.
We believe this adds immeasurably to the health and vigour of our soils, vines, grapes and ultimately, our wine.
Gathering cows [---]. Probably not a job to boast about in the pub. Gordy and Gongli look on, feeling useful perhaps.
The Poo Team includes two Philips, from Sweden, and Bob’s grandson Jake.
1 February 2012
Team TP Top Ten #54
Ricky Fataar, musician
Ladies and Gentlemen! And Mark Joffe! Drum roll if you please! Tonight, by special request of the Prop, and flown First Class on Two Paddocks Virtual Airways (your pilot today ... Al Gore!), an old friend and a remarkable musician. Cutting to the chase, if it wasn’t cool enough to have been the sublime Bonnie Raitt’s drummer for the last thirty years, and having been a Rutle, he was (and here The Prop almost faints at the very idea) an actual, real life Beach Boy – not just a member of that extraordinary band, but a member at the very height of their powers 1970- 1973, which necessarily covers those sublime albums Carl & The Passions: So Tough, Holland, and The Beach Boys Live: God in Heaven, how unbelievably cool. All of that, AND he has worked with (often as a producer) Boz Scaggs, Tim Finn, Crowded House, Renee Geyer, Delbert McClinton ... on and on, so many cool dudes. And not only is he a drummer, and one of the world’s great drummers, he is also extremely handy on guitar, pedal steel and of course ukulele. Ladies and Gentlemen, our cup runneth over ... bring him up on stage if you will, a sweet man, and a powerfully sweet musician ... all the way from Durban via San Francisco and, oh, a bunch of locales ... the one and only ... Mr RICKY FATAAR!>>>
31 January 2012
The Distiller at Work
The finished product...
Mike carefully decants Two Paddocks Lavender Oil.
30 January 2012
Lads and Lavender
It’s harvest time again
One of the more pleasurable jobs at this time of the year is the harvesting of our lavender.
Try to imagine the giddy almost overpowering aromas that the boys are with all that long summer’s day.
Nathan, Simon and Keith collect the lavender flowers with a Japanese tea harvester we have adapted for the job.
The bees, particularly bumbles, tend to view this with displeasure, so some care is necessary.
We then take the lavender to our lab, where we carefully distill the oil. Two Paddocks is coveted by many, rightly so. We hope to be able to offer it for sale when we open our on -line shop.
Lavender Water is a by product, one that the Prop throws liberally into his bath.
This year, Mike has taken over responsibilities as distiller. He has expressed interest in expanding to kirsch and vodka, but time will tell. His beer is dangerous enough.
25 January 2012
Team TP Top Ten #53
Tony Backhouse, musician and choirmaster
Ladies and Gentlemen! And Simon Morris! Tonight, live in the Dayglo Disco one of New Zealand’s (and indeed the World's) finest and most accomplished musicians and singers, a very old chum of The Prop's, and a very fine fellow indeed. A veteran of some of our country's best bands – the legendary Mammal, the extraordinary if short lived Crocodiles, as well as the unforgettable and beautifully named The Vulgar Beatmen ... and then, in a kind of self-reinvention, became a progenitor of gospel choirs and a giver of harmonizing workshops that are truly inspirational (having been to one for a weekend we know of what we speak – even Grahame Sydney found he had a voice, a miracle in itself). Among his many achievements perhaps his greatest is the founding, and running for 20 or so years, of the amazing Sydney a cappella choir, Café at the Gates Of Salvation, as well as The Heavenly Light Quartet, and has sowed the seeds for a number of different choirs that have sprung up in his wake. He's a man who brings song and harmony and light and pure joy wherever he goes, all around the world. On your feet if you please! Put your hands together, in the Amen Corner! Give Praise Brothers and Sisters! Shout it out now! Oh Happy Dayglo Day...bring him up to the stage Ladies and Gentlemen, and give it up for...Mr...Tony Backhouse!!>>>
24 January 2012
Jolly Good Fellows, etc.
Desiree had her baby last week, a stupendously handsome little boy, and all staff at TPHQ are thrilled, congrats and so on.
Not all babies are as cute as this young fellow.
At the same time, Bob celebrated his 70th birthday at HQ, more congrats, singing of songs, etc.
Not all cakes are as beautiful as Bob’s.
Not all our staff are as dashing as Bob.
Bob, Rowena and their girls.
21 January 2012
Team TP Top Ten #52
Ian McKellen, actor
Ladies and Gentlemen! Pray silence in the Dayglo! Be upstanding if you will for a Knight of the Realm! Have we ever been grander? I don’t think so! Have we ever been smarter? No! Have we ever been more plush? Well, perhaps back when we still sported the velveteen couchettes. Today, a rare and extreme honour ... the nobbiest of nobby nobs, one of the Very Greats of Stage and Screen, a marvelous actor and a lovely man. Here gracing the newly reno’ed Dayglo (how do you like the Orange we found in the Army Surplus Store in Haight-Ashbury then?) ... someone with so many theatre credits you need another couple of pages when you print the programme, a stalwart of the RSC and the National as well as the West End in general, a great Shakespearian thesp, and, as it happens, a big old Movie Star, to boot. Of course you loved him in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and X Men, and who wouldn’t? But we thought he was the bloody bees knees in Gods and Monsters, Scandal, Apt Pupil, Richard 111 and...oh, bollocks, the list is too damn long, and at the end of the day, you’re here to boogaloo in the Dazzling Dayglo Disco ("Vile" -- International Herald Tribune). So put those dancing pumps back on, and put those hands in the air, and make way for the great, the one and only ... SIR ... IAN ... McKELLEN! >>>
18 January 2012
Team TP Top Ten #51
Jimmy Nesbitt, actor
Ladies and Gentlemen! Brruuppp! Your M.C., in the Place To Be ... Tonight, direct from the set of The Hobbit, a very special guest D.J. ... Boom! Yes, courtesy of Two Paddocks Virtual Air (The airline of choice to the virtual jet set) here in the Dayglo Disco (this week’s colour - Livid Lime) the fourth actor from Ireland to grace our decks – count them, and award yourselves ten free points if you’ve got them all -- yes, one of the world’s best loved actors ... and one of the very best, period. You knew him first from Cold Feet, great series, you followed him religiously every week in Murphy’s Law, he made you laugh in Hear My Song and Waking Ned Devine, he rattled your cage in Bloody Sunday, you thought him a knockout in Five Minutes of Heavenand Jekyll and ... look, this is beginning to sound like bloody Spotlight. Let’s just say we wish we had half his talent, his wit, his charm, his charisma ... yes it’d make you crook, the man’s got it all. Without further ado, let’s bring him up here, the likeable larrikin, Ballymena’s Best, here with his very own Top Ten, a big Dayglo hand, if you please for ... Mr ... Jimmy Nesbitt!>>>
17 January 2012
Ginger and Her Pal
The romance continues
People have been asking us if all is well in the Pig Department, and we are happy to report that all is cordial in the honeymoon paddock.
In fact the two porcine members of Team TP are inseparable. Love, actually.
14 January 2012
Team TP Top Ten #50
Neil Finn, Musician
Ladies and Gentlemen! At last, in person, a man who has long been a staple in the remodeled Dayglo Two Paddocks Virtual Disco ("Interior design for the visually impaired" --The Guardian), yes, a staple and favourite here since the beginning of rock. The great Neil Finn, a man who has transcended the unfortunate misspelling of his first name, and risen from the shibeens of Te Awamutu to grace the stages of the world’s biggest stadiums; an ambassador for his country, an inspiration to millions, a luminous creative force driving in the heart of New Zealand, collaborator and spur to his brother Tim as well as hundreds of other musicians, a father to two rising stars Liam and Elroy, a husband to Sharon (she of the chandeliers and The Pajama Club), as prone to gaffes as he is to mysterious inspired creativity ... here he is, he lives just up the road, but we decided as a courtesy in deference to his mana, to fly him First Class by Two Paddocks Virtual Air (Is that Paris out the window, or is it just me?) here he is finally after a journey of five months, (It should have been three hours, but sometimes if you’re lucky, we don’t just lose your bags, we lose you, too.) Up you come Neil ... the eternally youthful, the great guy, our Two Paddocks friend ... the wonderful ... Neil Finn!>>>
13 January 2012
The Proprietor Speaks
And manages to string together more than two sentences at least.
Yes, the 'Man of Few Words' (mainly because he is unable to think of any more), speaks out about no less than this very site that you are perusing right now.
A candid and revealing probe into the miniscule mind of the Prop by those fearless and uber-intelligent Men of Radio, Phil O’Brian and Simon Morris. All the info you could possibly ever want on out Top 10 section.
Simon Morris (on the left of the photo) is an old friend of the Prop's, whose first startling recollection of Simon was seeing him rock out playing Street Fighting Man at a demo in front of the Wellington Town Hall, 1970. What were we demonstrating about exactly... um ... Viet Nam ... probably.
11 January 2012
Team TP Top Ten #49
Duncan Forsyth, Vigneron
Ladies and Gentlemen! Oh ... none here? Just the riff raff then. Tonight in the newly renovated Two Paddocks Virtual Dayglo Disco ("Visually toxic"--The Times) our first guest DJ who actually looks at home in this pleasingly garish environment – most of us in Central Otago merely put on clothes in the morning ... here's a man who dresses up, each and every day!
Regular Dayglo punters will know, that here at HQ, we take our hats off to many other wineries, we love quite a few; but some we love more than others. Mt. Edward in Gibbston is one of those, and here is its Vigneron, dressed in an appalling flared powder blue suit with lapels as wide as a B-52, unseemly yellow crocodile boots, and a genuine Memphis string tie with Native American motif, worn on a dizzyingly embroidered Taiwanese shirt. Yes, it could only be the one of a kind Duncan Forsyth!
Raised in the salubrious Hutt Valley, barely educated in Nelson, trashed at Vic, munted in New Orleans, obliterated in Sun Valley, demolished at Lincoln, Duncan, by great good fortune, found rehabilitation and sweet reason at last at Chard Farm in the early Nineties, and thereafter at Peregrine. Which lead to Mount Edward in 2004, which has become one of the very best Central wineries. The fall and rise of the Prodigal.
Occasionally, however, Duncan will revert to type, as his DJ set proves -- every year Duncan chances his health and sanity (such as he has left) with a pilgrimage to the madness that is Burning Man. Rash and extremely ill advised, yes, but at least when he gets back, bedraggled and rueful, he has good stories to tell. And here’s one...
Denizens of the Dayglo ... avert your eyes if you are easily offended by kitsch on a grown man, but in any case, a huge Two Paddocks welcome to our friend and colleague, an awfully funny man, and awesome winemaker, and our ambassador at large, god help us ... The one and only ... Duncan Forsyth!!>>>
10 January 2012
It’s cherry time again.
At Redbank we have about 20 acres of cherries, and they are close to picking right now. This is another time of the year when The Prop has much trouble with self restraint.
We have already alluded to the wild thyme that abounds in the area as in part perhaps accounting for some of the savoury notes you may detect in our Pinot.
It may be a stretch, but the dark red fruit flavours as well – is it possible our surrounding orchards in some way contribute to those?
A mystery, and we leave you to decide.
When these cherries ripen, they mostly find their way to the US and Japan.
7 January 2012
Team TP Top Ten #48
Richard E. Grant, Actor
Ladies and Gentlemen! Yes, you asked for him ... well you can have him! Without a doubt one of the very best actors of his generation, and a very amusing interesting bloke -- but that’s by the by since he’s here as tonight’s DJ, in the recently reno’ed Dayglo Disco ("...Rancid..." The New York Times). What? You want more about Richard? Why, for goodness sake, everyone loves him enough, we say! Oh alright then ... we will always love him for Withnail and I (with the possible exception of The Big Lebowski, every actor’s favourite fillum), we loved him in Prêt-à-Porter, Gosford Park, Portrait of a Lady, How to Get Ahead in Advertising, on stage in Importance of being Earnest and My Fair Lady, and we are not alone in our undying gratitude for his lavish extravagance in Hudson Hawk ... the list goes on and on ... But most of all, we love him for Wah Wah, one of our all time favourite films -- his heartfelt semi-autobiographical story of growing up in Swaziland, a brilliant post-colonial film about colonialism (and growing up and betrayal and ... lots of things). And we are fizzing at the bung to see him play Michael Heseltine opposite Meryl in Iron Lady. And here he is direct from the set of the Kath and Kim Filum (another not-to-be-missed epic), looking as unruffled and debonair as always, courtesy of Two Paddocks Virtual Airways (First Class: Take to the skies, without leaving home) ... the completely, deliriously splendid ... Mr. RICHARD E. GRANT!!>>>
6 January 2012
TPHQ Open For Business
Swing by, why don’t you?
We are open at TPHQ, January 4th – March 4th, Wednesday to Saturday,
11 am to 4 pm. All welcome, but you in particular. Come on by ...
315 Strode Rd , Earnscleugh. (Just 5 minutes from Clyde.)
Redbank vineyard is nestled up among very rugged hills; The Old Man Range.
Or The Old Woman Range, we aren’t quite sure.
4 January 2012
Team TP Top Ten #47
Grahame Sydney, painter
Ladies and Gentlemen! Tonight in the Two Paddocks Dayglo Disco (not so much psychedelic décor, more bilious, if seen in the light of day), direct from our kitchens where he’s been helping the short-order cook, a man who has made a most distinguished career painting a once little known corner of New Zealand, and made it famous as a result.
The Maniototo, a profoundly empty seeming landscape, eerie and beautiful , is now commonly known as Grahame Sydney country.
In fact, he not only has defined that landscape, he is now part of it -- if you see a stringy, gnarly looking geezer painting en plein air among the tussocks, it’ll be him. Either that, or it’s a telephone pole, they are easily confused.
So here he is, a very old companion of Two Paddocks (and an avid drinker of our best, the bastard) ... the Prop has been kind enough to be his friend since 1968, Otago University, and well remembers Syd’s first of many rash pronouncements at that time (“Impressionism is shit!”) ... he is also a good keen man when it comes to music (the Prop and Syd have gone far too late far too often arguing about songs) and what is more is a pretty fine uke player, having had a Kamaka concert ukulele given to him by yours truly ... the jams, the jams ... Let’s give a big Two Paddocks cheer for our friend, our neighbour, our old mucker ... he’s dry as a biscuit and very funny ... we rate him here in the Dayglo ... give it UP for ...Mr ... Grahame SYDNEY!>>