About Hal Josephson

Hal Josephson

Hal Josephson is President and CEO of MediaSense, which specializes in
international business development, program design and project management services for high-tech industries. He works extensively with China Access 2010, a private sector economic development consultancy that specializes in building alliances, partnerships and joint ventures to do business in China. Hal's China conferences include the annual Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (DELF) and Cyberport Venture Capital Forum.

Before founding MediaSense, Hal was Executive Producer for INVISION, the largest North American event for creators of digital content. He spends a third of his time in New Zealand, a third in China and a third in the United States.


Latest Posts by Hal Josephson

Food and Wine Matched Tastes of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

December 29, 2009 by  

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Hawkes Bay, a sunny, coastal province, situated in the East of New Zealand’s North Island, is gaining repute as a wine and food locale that marries delicious regional cuisine with a diversity of exceptional wines. Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s second largest producer of wine, after the South Island’s Marlborough region, known around the world for its herbaceous, tropical Sauvignon Blancs.

While Marlborough may win acclaim for the country’s best Sauvignon Blancs and Central Otago, the finest Pinot Noirs, Hawke’s Bay produces a wide range of award winning wines and has attracted highly regarded, top chefs and winemakers from throughout Australasia and Europe. Ten of the region’s 35 wineries with cellar doors offer fine restaurant dining. Six, in particular, stand out for their impressive settings and inspired and creative food, along with exquisite wines that match superb local produce and flavours in their seasonal menus.

From its elevated position in the hills outside of the village of Havelock North, overlooking rows of old vines, Black Barn Winery invites the discerning gourmet to enjoy tastes of distinction. Black Barn’s signature dish is a pan roasted natural lamb short loin, marinated, filled with an olive, rosemary and lemon stuffing and served on smoked aubergine salsa. This dish, winner of the Hawke’s Bay Signature Dish Award 2007 matches beautifully with their 2004 Merlot blend, a complex, rich Bordeaux style wine. Aged in oak, the wine’s ripe fruit, licorice, walnuts and mulled spice are a perfect complement for the complexity of flavors of Black Barn’s lamb main course.

Te Awa Winery, in the stony soil area known as Gimblett Gravels, provides high class dining in a tranquil, country setting, with the warmth of a roaring fire in the cool of winter and the opportunity to enjoy open-air seclusion on a summer’s afternoon. The extensive garden affords perfect privacy for a romantic lunch for two or a relaxed family outing, playing petanque on the lawn between courses.

The Te Awa Tasting Plate, best shared, offers choice from a selection, including Spanish pork empanadillas with minted yogurt dipping sauce, curried pumpkin tartlets with locally made Te Mata goat curd with chili jam, and seared sesame and wasabi crusted yellow fin tuna. The combination of these diverse tastes teams nicely with Te Awa Sauvignon Blanc 2006, a 50% barrel fermented wine that integrates the flavours of ripe stone fruit and citrus, along with mineral notes (a reflection of the gravel soils) and leaves a lingering refreshing after-taste.

Vidal Winery, one of Hawkes Bay’s oldest boutique wineries, is an unexpected oasis in the midst of Hastings’ city suburbia. Vidal’s offers a choice of dining experiences, ranging from elegant meals in the formal dining room, to lunch under the shade of sixty year old vines in the courtyard, to happy hour snacks in a casual indoor setting around an open fire and surrounded by oak barrels. The fresh, citrus and spice flavours of chili squid with kaffir lime dressing, pair wonderfully with Vidal’s Marlborough Riesling 2007. The floral and lime aromas and citrus flavours of this wine elegantly complement the spicy signature seafood dish.

Craggy Range Winery is a recently completed multi-million dollar winery. Situated in the picturesque Tuki Tuki River valley, overlooking it’s own man-made lake, Craggy has, as its backdrop, the dramatic cliffs of Te Mata Peak, making for breathtaking views all around. Its French country style dining room, Terrôir, features an open-fire rotisserie, cooking organic chickens, and a wood fire from which come a number of other dishes.

The simple, yet impressive looking, whole wood-fired fish seasoned with country herbs and lemon is artfully complemented by Craggy’s coastal grown Hawke’s Bay Kidnapper’s Chardonnay. The white flowers, fresh straw, pear and freshly picked pineapple flavours resonate with the moist fish making every bite and sip a palate sensation not to be missed.

Mission Estate Winery was established by a French Marist religious order in 1851 and still retains much of the character of its past. From the outdoor terrace, diners are able to take in sweeping views over the Art Deco city of Napier, as far as the coast beyond. Aged beef fillet medallions, char-grilled, with a red wine roasted Spanish onion, creamy polenta and red wine jus is a superb example of the European influenced cuisine. This exotic combination pairs well with the Vineyard Selection Merlot 2005 with its rich berry fruit sweetness, or the Jewelstone Syrah 2005, for those who may appreciate the Turkish delight flavours with fine sweet tannins and a long finish with hints of cedar and spice.

At Clearview Estate Winery, diners can relax amidst the grapevines, glimpsing the Pacific Ocean only metres away. The use of the freshest local, organic and artisan produce is a priority at Clearview, as at other featured restaurants, but here, the herbs, olives, citrus and avocados are all from the estate gardens. Duck leg, rocket and pear salad, cornbread and cranberry relish pairs perfectly with owner-winemaker Tim Turvey’s unique Pinot Noir des Trois, produced by blending Pinot Noir grapes from three vineyards in different regions of the country.

Tim claims, “This is not Pinot Noir for the faint hearted.” Pinot lovers will find this wine full of black cherry, mocha and red berries dominating the front palate, underpinned with a brambly, earthy solidity of ripe tannins and cedary oak. These myriad flavours combine to create superlative tastes for this sensational signature duck dish.

The Hawkes Bay wine-growing region is beautiful and bountiful. With its temperate climate, breathtaking scenery, and row upon row of vines, it is immediately apparent that there is something remarkable about this region. It is not just that the restaurants receive accolades for the high quality of their food, nor is it solely the production of wines that are competitive on the world stage.

What sets Hawkes Bay apart from other wine regions is that both superb food and fine wine are showcased so successfully in partnership, one enhancing the other, taste after extraordinary taste.

Tastes of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

September 1, 2009 by  

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Hawke’s Bay is a sunny, coastal province, situated in the East of New Zealand’s North Island. The region has gained repute as a wine and food locale that marries delicious regional cuisine with a diversity of exceptional wines. Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s second largest producer of wine, after the South Island’s Marlborough region, known around the world for its herbaceous, tropical Sauvignon Blancs. While Marlborough may win acclaim for the country’s best Sauvignon Blancs and Central Otago, the finest Pinot Noirs, Hawke’s Bay produces a wide range of award winning wines and has attracted highly regarded, top chefs and winemakers from throughout Australasia and Europe.

Ten of the region’s 40+ wineries with cellar doors offer fine restaurant dining. My fiancé and I decided to dine at six of these winery-based restaurants. We chose the restaurants below for their impressive settings, inspired and creative food, along with their exquisite wines that match superb local produce and flavors in their seasonal menus.

From its elevated position in the hills outside of the village of Havelock North, overlooking rows of old vines, Black Barn Winery invites the discerning gourmet to enjoy tastes of distinction. We chose Black Barn’s signature dish, winner of the Hawke’s Bay Signature Dish Award for 2007. The dish, a pan roasted natural lamb short loin, marinated and filled with an olive, rosemary and lemon stuffing and served on smoked aubergine salsa, matches beautifully with Black Barn’s 2004 Merlot blend, a rich Bordeaux style wine. Aged in oak, the wine’s ripe fruit, licorice, walnuts and mulled spice are a perfect complement for the complexity of flavors of Black Barn’s lamb main course.

Te Awa Winery, in the stony soil area known as Gimblett Gravels, provides high class dining in a tranquil, country setting, with the warmth of a roaring fire in the cool of winter and the opportunity to enjoy open-air seclusion on a summer’s afternoon. The extensive garden affords perfect privacy for a romantic lunch for two or a relaxed family outing, playing petanque on the lawn between courses. We sat on rough-hewn picnic tables in the garden with white tablecloth service. We ordered the Te Awa Tasting Plate, offering a selection of Spanish pork empanadas with minted yogurt dipping sauce, curried pumpkin tartlets with locally made Te Mata goat curd with chili jam, and seared sesame and wasabi crusted yellow fin tuna. The combination of these diverse tastes teamed nicely with the Te Awa Sauvignon Blanc 2006, a 50% barrel fermented wine that integrates the flavors of ripe stone fruit and citrus, along with mineral notes (a reflection of the gravel soils) and leaves a lingering refreshing after-taste.

Vidal Winery, one of Hawke’s Bay’s oldest boutique wineries, is an unexpected oasis in the midst of the small community of Hastings. Vidal’s, as it is known by locals, offers a choice of dining experiences, ranging from elegant meals in the formal dining room, to lunch under the shade of sixty year old vines in the courtyard, to happy hour snacks in a casual indoor setting around an open fire and surrounded by oak barrels. Vidal’s is well known locally for the their chili squid with kefir lime dressing. This dish pairs wonderfully with Vidal’s Marlborough Riesling 2007. The floral and lime aromas and citrus flavors of this wine elegantly complement their spicy signature seafood dish.

Craggy Range Winery is a recently completed multi-million dollar winery. It is situated in the picturesque Tuki Tuki River valley, overlooking it’s own man-made lake, Craggy has, as its backdrop, the dramatic cliffs of Te Mata Peak, making for breathtaking views all around. Its French country style dining room, Terrôir, features an open-fire rotisserie, cooking organic chickens, and a wood fire from which come a number of other dishes. We could not resist selecting the simple, yet impressive looking, whole wood-fired fish seasoned with country herbs and lemon. This dish is artfully complemented by Craggy’s coastal grown Hawke’s Bay Kidnapper’s Chardonnay. The white flowers, fresh straw, pear and freshly picked pineapple flavors resonated with the moist fish making every bite and sip a palate sensation not to be missed.

Mission Estate Winery was established by a French Marist religious order in 1851 and still retains much of the character of its past. From the outdoor terrace, diners are able to take in sweeping views over the Art Deco city of Napier, as far as the coast beyond. Our waiter recommends their aged beef fillet medallions, char-grilled with a red wine roasted Spanish onion, creamy polenta and red wine jus. It is a superb example of the European influenced cuisine. This exotic combination paired well with both the Vineyard Selection Merlot 2005 with its rich berry fruit sweetness, and the Jewelstone Syrah 2005, for those who may appreciate Turkish delight flavors with fine sweet tannins and a long finish with hints of cedar and spice.

At Clearview Estate Winery, we found diners relaxing amidst the grapevines, glimpsing the Pacific Ocean only meters away. Clearview’s menu proudly proclaims that they use only the freshest local, organic and artisan produce. Unlike many of the other local restaurants, at Clearview, the herbs, olives, citrus and avocados are all from the estate gardens. We ordered the duck leg, rocket and pear salad, with cornbread and cranberry relish. This Autumnal flavored dish paired perfectly with owner-winemaker Tim Turvey’s unique Pinot Noir des Trois. This wine is produced by blending Pinot Noir grapes from three vineyards in different regions of the country. Tim claims, “This is not Pinot Noir for the faint hearted”. Pinot lovers will find this wine full of black cherry, mocha and red berries dominating the front palate, underpinned with a brambly, earthy solidity of ripe tannins and cedary oak. These myriad flavors combined beautifully to create superlative tastes for this sensational signature duck dish.

The Hawke’s Bay wine-growing locale is both beautiful and bountiful. With its temperate climate, breathtaking scenery, and row upon row of vines, it is immediately apparent that there is something remarkable about this region. It is not just that the restaurants receive accolades for the high quality of their food, nor is it solely the production of wines that are competitive on the world stage. What sets Hawke’s Bay apart from other wine regions is that both superb food and fine wine are showcased so successfully in partnership, one enhancing the other, taste after extraordinary taste.

To food and wine tout la time

To food and wine tout la time