My mum suggested it as a career when I was in high school, I always enjoyed science and she thought it would be a good fit. Thinking about it now I suspect she just liked the idea of getting some free wine! Towards the end of high school I contacted wineries in Auckland asking how to become a winemaker, which is how I met Matua.
Chardonnay – specifically the Matua Single Vineyard Chardonnay as there is just so much going on. Aromatically the combination of fruit, sulphide (struck match) and wild ferment make the nose so interesting. The palate while weighty and powerful is fresh and vibrant with lovely purity. It has such incredible texture, which to me is just as important as the aromatics or flavour of a wine.
Chardonnay, I’m not a control freak by any means but you get to have so much influence when making Chardonnay, also when it comes down to it you usually love making the wines you love to drink.
Fundamentally I love to make wine, but I really enjoy the breadth of the role. I get to interact with the sales and marketing teams, demand planners, finance, the Viticulture team and the production guys. There is always something different happening.
There is obviously a significant legacy to uphold, part of which that really resonates with me is Matua’s pioneering history. I don’t want our wines to stand still, I want to keep innovating and pushing the boundaries of our winemaking. If nothing else I want every person that purchases a bottle of our wine to feel like they have got good value for their money.
It was actually a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, more for the fact that it was the moment I decided I wanted to be a winemaker. It was 1997 and I had had minimal experience with wine and most of what I had tried had been fairly dull. I just couldn’t believe a wine could be so packed full of flavour, it was a revelation.
Maybe a little surprising, but I’ve always thought being an electrician would have been a good job!
We have two young boys, Peter who is nearly 3 and George who is 8 months.
When I was 10 I had an absolutely cracking bowl cut, which I was immensely proud of. Thinking about it now and with my hair not covering quite as much of my head as it’s meant to, it is slightly depressing to think my pinnacle hair moment was a bowl cut!
I love a really good washed rind (Epoisses or similar) the stinkier the better and of course - matched with Chardonnay.
I’m watching a lot of Sesame street at the moment, which is just as good as I remembered it when I was young.