Judgeford vineyard offers up its crop

Last updated 09:56 20/11/2012
Andrea O'Neil

VINE AND DANDY: Judgeford man Terry Doran is offering grapes from his boutique vineyard, and the resulting wine, to anybody with the time to work the vines.

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Free to a good owner: 500 bottles of wine. The catch? You'll have to make the wine yourself.

Judgeford man Terry Doran is seeking somebody to tend to 800 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines on his property, and they'll be welcome to the end product.

Mr Doran planted the picturesque little vineyard eight years ago when his horse-riding kids left home.

"All the kids left home and took their horses, and I was left with a paddock. I like a bit of a drink so I thought: a vineyard."

Well-travelled, Mr Doran envisaged a slice of the Mediterranean in Porirua, and planted olive trees alongside the rows of vines. He even built a cottage as a nice place to drink his drop, and had "Judgeford Wines" bottle labels made when his daughter got married on the property.

But Mr Doran, a tyre retailer by trade, just doesn't have the time to carry it through, he says.

"I leave here in the dark and I come home in the dark and I've only got the weekends to do things."

Another problem is his raw viticulture skills.

"I don't know what I'm doing, really. I haven't done any courses or anything."

Despite his haphazard approach, Mr Doran has got about 500 bottles of wine out of his vineyard every couple of years. Some vintages have been more quaffable than others.

"I drink it just through sheer spite because I've grown it."

The vines grow happily in Judgeford, despite clay soil and too much rain, and somebody with an interest could make a good go of it, he says.

"I'm looking for someone with an interest in grapes. I just haven't got time to get up there and spray."

Tools and fertiliser will be provided. If Mr Doran can't find somebody to take over the vineyard he'll pull the vines out, he says.

To inquire about the vineyard, call 027 443 7605.

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