Beyond a verdant row of vines lies Amisfield winery, a hop, skip and a six iron from Arrowtown in the Cromwell Basin.
Centre stage, our hero, a moist, pink leg of New Zealand lamb, predictably paired with a generous serve of baked potatoes and savoured with a splash of local pinot.
Fourteen seasoned golfers settled into a lazy Trust the Chef lunch in a sun-drenched courtyard, amid a hue of purple lavender. The backdrop, the aptly named Remarkables mountain range.
We weren’t alone. Engrossed in conversation and oblivious to our prying eyes was Central Otago local and proprietor of Two Paddocks winery, actor Sam Neill.
His winery produces some very starry pinot noirs, though, according to Sam, it’s not what it seems.
“Pinot is known as the ‘heartbreak’ grape.” he says. “Every season is a challenge, some dramatically so. Nature can be a fickle mistress…but without a challenge, life would be pretty dull surely? And a difficult challenge overcome can be immensely rewarding.”
Very sobering words, indeed.
Words that resonated to the challenges we’d encountered that same week, not making wine, but playing golf at the formidable Jack’s Point, Millbrook and Queenstown courses.