Cloudy Bay is one of New Zealand’s great success stories – it has certainly put the country’s wine on the map. It was my number-one priority to visit the winery – and its equally fabled Kevin Judd – on our first visit to New Zealand last September.
On arrival at Blenheim, we were escorted to the ‘Shack’, Cloudy Bay’s guest house, and, soon after settling in, joined Kevin and some friends for dinner. Kevin, it turned out, is a man of few words; he seems content to express his eloquence in winemaking and, it later transpired, his brilliant use of the camera.
It was during the first evening that I spotted his book, The Colour of Wine, and, rather rudely, became absorbed. So much so that, the following morning, I not only pored over the extraordinary photographs, but had the even more extraordinary experience of looking out of the windows at some of the very scenes depicted in its pages. How many of us have had the opportunity of seeing the Cloudy Bay label in real life? Within an hour or so the clouds lifted – the scenery changed and the light transformed. It is these ever-shifting scenes and colours that have been brilliantly captured by Kevin’s lens.
What struck me were the vivid hues, then Kevin’s eye for texture and form, his positive genius for contrasting tones. His book, modestly subtitled, Photographs from the vineyards of Marlborough, New Zealand, turns out to be a work of art, a book to wallow in, preferably with glass of Kevin’s Sauvignon Blanc in hand. He’s not bad at that either!