22 August 2011Neil McCallum retiring

I'm not sure if 'retiring' is the right word - but it will have to do.

I must admit is was a bit of a surprise to open my Spring 2011 mailer from Dry River Wines and read that Neil was finally stepping away from Dry River completely.  Good on him in one sense, but sad in another.

For me I have known of Neil, Dawn and Dry River since my first introduction to Martinborough in the mid / late 1980's.  It was clear that Neil was intent on doing something pretty special and he; with Clive Paton and Larry McKenna; established Martinborough's awesome reputation with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling.  The focus on being boutique, attention to detail and general excellence is what makes Dry River outstanding.

I've always admired Dry River wines, especially the style, finesse and class of the white wines.  Dry River has to be one of my heros since "for ever", and are wines that I aspire to emulate in my own way.

It's sad that Neil won't be at the forefront of New Zealand winemaking any more, but his place in the history of modern New Zealand winemaking is certain and has to be applauded.  Thanks for getting us to where we are.

All the best for 'the excitment of pastures new' and a toast to the past and the future.  Cheers, Neil & Dawn!

Douglas Brett.
written by Douglas Brett
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