It’s taken three years, but the Amisfield book is at the printer and will be launched in July. In May 2011, I went to a dinner at Amisfield and thought: this would make a great book. Why don’t they have a book? I got to know marketing manager Debbie Zampieri and then we pitched the book to Random House who loved the idea.
Amisfield is a single-estate vineyard and restaurant. Their bistro is at Lake Hayes and their vineyards are at Pisa. They make really nice pinot noir and a brilliant riesling and everything is about being careful with the grapes and not doing too much. The same goes for the food: it’s seasonal and local, and beautifully made. I love eating there, always have, and so it was a real privilege to write this book.
I spent a year going up and down from Queenstown and six months writing the thing – it takes in wine varietals, obviously, but it is also the story of a region and a vineyard. It covers soil types and vineyard techniques and the salty characters of Central who supply the restaurant. I’m very proud of it.