Australian winemakers have a respectful relationship with our New Zealand counterparts, despite the gentle ribbing about the amazing success of Sauvignon Blanc and the dominance of the All Blacks.
Not to mention the clean and green environment, the purity of the Pinot and the list goes on.
There are numerous Australians working in NZ wine and vice versa.
Hollywood star Sam Neill OBE, who was in Jurassic Park among other blockbusters, started a winery in New Zealand called Two Paddocks which has been a big success.
Before long many people in the Australian wine community got to meet Sam – at various tastings, events and conferences both here and in NZ.
“He’s a great guy – very down to earth and very funny,” was a common observation.
It’s not often Hollywood stars rub shoulders with Australian winemakers and the novelty tickled our fancy.
Sam’s tweets are compulsive reading. He’s witty and entertaining; serious when he has to be.
Then the appalling act in Christchurch.
Sam tweeted: “This beyond grotesque horrific white supremacist terrorist crime in OUR, YOUR little country. With love and heartbreak to the Muslim community of Aotearoa, we are with you. You are us. We are all New Zealanders. #TheyAreUs Kia kaha. We weep together.”
Sam said what everyone in the Australian wine community is thinking.
By noon today Sam’s tweet had 15,800 likes and been retweeted 2,665 times.
Says it all, really.
We are thinking of our friends in New Zealand.
Photo: New Zealand Wine.