9.19am, Wednesday 17th July, Coffee Spot, The George Hotel, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand
Morning folks, and we’re off up to Auckland in a couple of hours, after a red hot tasting last night with the Yalumba faithful at long time staunch supporters – Vino Fino wine merchants. This time last year, we did the first wine night to celebrate Vino Fino re opening after the earthquake, and 12 months down the track – it’s still a city doing it very tough! I walked from the city centre out to Vino Fino yesterday afternoon, and hopefully this will give you an idea of how resilient this town is. Theyve rolled their sleeves up and got on with the job in classic stoic South Island New Zealand fashion, but they need stacks of support – they need folks to come and visit, get along to a Crusaders Super 15 rugby game – they’re always in the finals – come and ski, eat, drink, shop, cruise around the Canterbury plain and use Christchurch as your in and out point. We can all help out somehow!
This is the entry to the Cathedral Square, and it’s quite weird and disorienting if you’ve been to Christchurch before, because there were well known hotels, restaurants and landmark buildings around the Square – all gone – demolished now except for what’s left of the Cathedral
Hopefully these beautiful old structures will be patched up and remain – given time.
At least some of the roads criss crossing the city have reopened, which makes it a lot easier to get around, but it is still pretty much a construction site 2 years down the track. It probably drives the locals nuts on a regular basis!
But have a look at this – it’s ‘Re Start’ – the shopping precinct which runs behind the iconic Christchurch landmark, the ‘Bridge of Remembrance’. It’s completely built out of shipping containers – the shops, banks, even a wood fired pizza oven!
So we will be back – same time next year – with another bag full of our best wines, and the year after that, and the year after that! Thanks very much to all the Christchurch wine and food fraternity folk that have us on your shelves – it was good to be here, even if – again! – it was all too short.