Welcome to Coney Winery & Estate.
Where fine wine and delicious food meet in the perfect accompaniment.

News & Updates >

The treble clef and other random thoughts

Posted on June 8, 2016 at 4:25 pm in News & Updates

When people amble through our wine tasting they often enquire about the origin of our elegant treble clef logo (well we think its elegant).  Coney then points out a picture on the wall which displays a 5-piece group of old crockers dressed in garb which surely dates from the 1960’s, complete with mutton chop sideburns.  Uncle Remus – that’s us, three Coneys including the cricketer, the twin brother Chris and a cousin who still tinkles the ivories in his Picton café. (There must be something irresistible about Hospo!)   And the drummer an old school buddy, John Hall, who also used to captain the NZ volleyball team – lovely man, now sadly gone from us.  So, adopting the treble clef seemed a natural impulse.  Having a passing resemblance to the dollar sign it also reminds us of why we’re in business!  With music in our restaurant and vineyard this was also top of the list for our annual getaway break last year from Coney Wines.

Come August, kitty permitting and pruning done and dusted, the Coney elders hang out the “Gone Fishin’” sign.  Last year, in keeping with our treble clef logo we chased music in Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana.   No eclectic taste needed, just an enthusiasm for honky tonk, country, Cajun, blues and the simpler forms of jazz.  So it was Austin, Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans.  A fair bit of car travel between gigs but bloody marvellous.  And all done in the interests of self-improvement!

The twenty-somethings were out till 2am every night – Margaret and I fell back reeling at around midnight.  For those who haven’t managed it, Nashville’s Broadway, Austin’s 6th Street and Memphis’ Beale Street are a wall to wall (sometimes 3 stories high) cacophony.  Simply cock your highly tuned ear outside the venue, and if to your liking, venture inside and listen – for a modest cover charge or buy (a beer!) at the bar in lieu.  The average standard of musicianship is truly phenomenal – as Ry Cooder once said – it makes the 3-chord Rolling Stones look like hacks.  However, as with wine tastes, each to his own.  Being in a bar environment the wines on offer were house wines, el cheapo, and as horrible as the music was good.  Like a wimp – constrained by drink/drive – Coney snr kept to Miller Lite while Marg branched out into the cocktail scene.

A few hundred years ago a French scholar Alex de Tocqueville wrote down his impressions of American life and mores.  Coney was less thorough but has a few shallow observations to offer.

Although America (witness D. Trump) has a habit of leading the world in dumbing down all that is worthwhile, in the flesh they are unfailingly helpful and cheerful.  Any doddery NZ couple studying a street map of, say, Houston,is courteously interrupted and put right –“the museum you want is here, you are here.  Go there.”  The overzealous habit of “servers” at your table – “Eveything OK sir” before the victim has even loaded up the first forkful, and then at 10 minute intervals thereafter, is obviously a product of tipping which contributes a fair chunk of the waiters takehome pay.  Then as you leave (depending on the size of your tip) “Have a good one”  Safe travel”  “Y’all have a nice day now!”  Of course it’s churlish to complain about these inanities, but to the average white Anglo Saxon they can sound a bit effusive don’t you think?

On accommodation – like most cheapskates the Coneys stayed in a variety of B&B’s, motels and hotels, some designed to pamper but most in the “walls are paper thin” category.  Joints like Studio Six,  La Quinta, Comfort Inn etc.  All the latter clean as a whistle with air con loud enough to deafen any sensitive light sleeper.  Highlight was invariably the shower – always hot with a good jet.   Toilet discharge needed a bit of nursing until a decent vortex did the trick.  For this, just keep the handle depressed and hope for the best.

On driving – most candid couples will admit that driving on the wrong side, remembering tight right, loose left, avoiding oncoming traffic etc. is a fretful business and a test of the marriage bond.

Then there’s the GPS – nicknamed “the bitch” when in her cheerful unctuous voice she says “You have arrived at your destination”.  Not!  Instead, after a convoluted series of miscues, she has left us in a cul de sac somewhere in the countryside.  Roll on this year’s excursion.

How’s the Coney Vineyard?

This year buds burst mid- September as usual, new shoots sprouted like triffids and we did our budrubbing on hands and knees, shoot thinning, spraying, mowing regime.  Nets on in February,birds at bay.  Momentarily on top of it.  Next, more tucking to keep the foliage within its wires rather than spread-eagled into the rows. Thence to picking which we spread out over 4 weeks to avoid the midnight finishes of earlier vintages, with Lisa in the winery completing what was her eighth year in charge of winemaking.  Perfect fruit with the weather gods obedient to our wishes.

Inter-row we’ve planted some wild flowers for aesthetic reasons and for soil re-juvenation.

Come and check out the tulips.

The Coney Wines

The 2015 vintage has now been bottled, and given the small yield we’ve already run out of Ramblin’ Rosé and Piccolo Pinot Gris.

Our enthusiasm for Riesling, which, as you know, is a variety that has been regarded as one of the aristocrats since the Middle Ages, is undimmed.  We’re selling the 2013 Rallentando (dry) and the 2014 Ragtime (off-dry) and the 2015 Ritz (spritzy aperitif style).  Still offering the 2013 Pizzicato Pinot Noir having sold all the 2014 to export, with a pallet of nicely ageing 2013 Que Sera Syrah to go before we switch vintages.

Get your fix of the currently offered vintages online or send us an email.

Any Accolades

With supermarkets now occupying 70% of national sales we occasionally succumb to the New World competition – with a silver awarded to our 2013 Pizzicato Pinot Noir.  These tastings are hotly contested and we’re happy to receive the gong.

Visit our Gallery >