The Wine Cabinet


Dear Subscriber


This Thursday is a…..

Meet the Winemaker

Open Bottle Thursday!

October 2nd, 2014

6:00 - 8:00PM

We are honored to welcome

Erica Crawford 

Kim Crawford"s wine partner and wife of New Zealand Fame as she introduces their new project

Loveblock Wines 

Erica Crawford is Kim Crawford"s wife (Kim is man"s name down under) and the name of the famous brand they developed together.

Although they sold the Kim Crawford brand (sorry ladies she didn"t sell her husband!) a few years back this winemaking team was among the first New Zealand winemakers to gain a toehold in the United States and basically introduced

Sauvignon Blanc to the American palate.


Now that their non-compete has expired they are back at it again but this time it"s all about the Kim says


“There are some things you do for money, and some things you do for love, this is not for money.

The Wines!

Loveblock Pinot Gris

Pale golden with hints of green.  Aromas bursting with a potpourri of yellow wildflowers underscored with ripe pear, lychee and Turkish Delight notes.  Bursts with additional layers of musk melon and almond flavors. Finishing dry with great fruitiness, minerality and length with a touch of lime.


Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc

Water white, with a hint of green and gold. Lifted aromatics with peach aromas, fig, and a hint of plant spices. Explosive palate with white peach, underscored with subtle herbaceous notes and linear acidity.


Loveblock Pinot Noir

Bright red fruits with a savory mushroom layer, followed by sweet strawberry notes. With a hint of oak and balanced drying tannins, the wine lingers with brooding complexity.


Day of event Special Pricing!!!

Ten Foot Tall And Bullet Proof:

The Dream Behind Loveblock Wine

By Cathy Huyghe, reprint courtesy of Forbes


There’s no reason, at all, why Erica and Kim Crawford had to do Loveblock.

The eponymous Kim Crawford label – with its range of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay – is doing just fine. The production model hums along on well-oiled rails, from sourcing grapes and making the wine, all the way to branding and route to market. Building on the strength of Kim’s winemaking experience and Erica’s operations and marketing skills, the Crawfords are well-established as an iconic family of the New Zealand wine industry. Then along came Loveblock.  It would be a new wine and a fresh reboot.


It would be the chance to expand their portfolio of grapes. In addition to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris, they’d also make Moscato, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling. It would be a new opportunity, which is appealing to anyone with a successful past and even a small itch of entrepreneurialism for the future.  What Loveblock would not be is Kim Crawford Two. The differentiation has to do partly with the philosophy behind the brand, and partly with the odds of geography stacked high against it.  Those odds, even with the enthusiasm of a new venture, are daunting.

 Daunting, as in vineyards at elevations in New Zealand that are so high that no one has grown grapes there before. As in, arctic winds blowing in from the South Pole. As in, a plague of bronze beetles that descend on the vineyards, fly toward the sun, and eat literally everything in its path.It’s a forbidding climate that the Crawfords have nonetheless coaxed into yielding enough wine and enough hope to keep going.


“All the elements were against us,” Erica Crawford said. “But it was the dream. You need one of those things. You need to think you’re ten foot tall and bullet proof. You need to think nothing can go wrong.” It’s a great turn of phrase – this “ten foot tall and bullet proof” – but it doesn’t necessarily translate into a sustainable or profitable business. I ask Crawford whether Loveblock is making money. “No,” she says.

I ask her whether Loveblock will make money. “Yes,” she says, “but the break even is further away,” the way that planting vineyards at the top of a hill is further away: distance, yield and profitability are all longer in coming.  That gives them time to consider the value of the endeavor. “We know a lot more exactly where we want to go,” Crawford said. “When you live through the practicalities of the thing, and you bleed money, we think through what we really want for this.”

 Passion can be a common pitfall for every winemaker: it’s the driver for so much of the wine industry, but there has to be commercial sensibility to a project also.

  Crawford believes that the flavors coming from the Loveblock vineyards are phenomenal, partly because the toolbox they’re working with is so small. For some winemakers and viticulturalists the harsh environment would be limiting; others see the benefit of a focus that concentrates both efforts and senses.

 “It’s like giving one chef four ingredients and another chef a full kitchen, and saying make the same dish,” she said. “We’re striving for a constrained palate, with elegance and mouthfeel.”  That focus also influences possibilities for other aspects of the Crawford’s business. It’s a simple equation in principle – to do more with less – that is also the time when innovation emerges.  For example, Crawford envisions an integrated farm surrounding the vineyards, where beef and eggs are produced under the Loveblock label. A pop-up “cellar door” (what New Zealanders call a wine tasting room) is another idea, giving consumers easy access and riding the coattails of the pop-up restaurant trend at the same time.

Ideas like these serve to differentiate the brand, especially given that the route to market is the most difficult obstacle for Loveblock to overcome: the proliferation of wineries and industry-wide consolidation of the supply chain allow new, smaller labels little room to maneuver.  Crawford describes these ideas as “very difficult things I’ve never done before,” and making them happen will test her powers of strategy and resilience. That’s when being ten foot tall and bullet proof comes in handy.

See You Tomorrow!



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