Song: Pickin In The Sun


Pickin In The Sun!

I just got in to Gisborne today
Feel like my troubles are miles away
I’m having some fun
I’m getting some Sun
I’m just picking in the Sun today

I started in the Land of First Light
I was up at the Millton’s late last night
I chased all the French girls I could see
I know it’s Wainui Beach for me
I’m picking in the Sun today

And when were done we go to Hawke’s Bay
Napier is 130 kilometers away
It’s Mission tonight,
Sacred Hill to the right
I’m picking for the Catholics today.

Man o man what a night
Wine and women, then a very short flight
It’s Blenheim today
Marlborough’s this way
They got more grapes than we can pick Today

March is leaving April is here
The leaves are all turning, Winter is near.
I’m driving to Rippon if it takes all night.
I’m sleeping in Wanaka tonight
After Quart’s Reef, Andy and Penny’s is where I stay

I started up North I ended up South.
They grow grapes all over this Commonwealth.
I’m having some fun.
I’m getting some Sun.
I’m seeing New Zealand all the way to Queenstown.


Song Background!

This song is about the New Zealand wine pickers that visit the islands every harvest season. Generally they start up North in March and work their way down to Central Otego and Queenstown as the season progresses.

I was fortunate to be selected as a trip photographer for a wine importer. My assignment was to cover the owners of the company as they visited, traveled with and at times helped the vineyard employees and owners (the Pinot Noir Punch Down at Millton Vineyards comes to mind). The trip turned out to be 26 days long, covered multiple wineries on both islands and allowed me the privilege of drinking with the four great wine masters of New Zealand for 19 nights. Mostly these photo shoots lasted 12-18 hours and ALWAYS featured more wine that was possible to consume. I will forever be grateful for that once in a lifetime experience. I took over 11,000 high quality images in that span of time. Some of which are shown here.

After flying into Auckland and then taking a quick propeller plane to Hawks Bay, we make our way up to Gisborne. The drive is spectacular and the people and warm and friendly. We stayed at the Millton Family retreat at Wainui Beach on Poverty Bay. James Millton is one of the four great wine makers I was able to meet. I will NEVER forget him or his beautiful wife, Annie. The problem is when I met this wonderful beach, it promptly took a piece of my heart and has never given it back. Wonderful problem to have.

After shooting the Millton Vineyards and sampling so many unbelievable wines and partying with the locals (my absolute favorite thing to do), we then made our way back to Hawke's Bay. Forever changed by meeting my favorite Family vineyard and introducing me to my all time favorite wine, Viognier! I will never love a wine like I love Viognier. But there is a huge problem. I have been super spoiled and now I only like the very best of this varietal. I can only find two sources for it. I am very grateful for this problem.

Hawke's Bay featured the amazing vineyards of Sacred Hill and Mission Estate, the oldest winery in the Southern hemisphere. It is run by the Catholic Church.


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Thank you, enjoy your visit.