- GOLD (2014) Sommelier Wine Awards 2015
About the wine maker
The Waipara valley is snuggled in the lee of the Teviotdale hills which provide protection from the cool ocean winds but are open to the warm north-westerly winds. The north-facing, moderately sloping river terraces provide an ideal suntrap for grape ripening. Abundant sunshine throughout the summer, combined with a long, dry and cool autumn helps produce concentrated wines from the regional speciality grapes Riesling and Pinot Gris.
The grapes employed to make the Sauvignon Blanc come from both the major sub-regions of Marlborough; the Wairau and Awatere valleys offer complementary fruit, which when combined produce complex and balanced wines. Nev Gane manages the grapes produced in the Marlborough region; he was involved in planting the Woolshed Vineyard and has worked for the company since 2003. He always knew he would have a farming career and thrives on the different challenges that every growing season offers; he cannot remember two seasons ever being the same.
Central Otago is the world’s most southerly wine-producing region, and a great destination for skiers, mountaineers and more recently film buffs, since ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was filmed there. It also produces remarkable Pinot Noirs’ a rival for Burgundy; amazingly the first commercial wines only appeared in the late 1980s. Here, Duncan Cramp, a former farmer from Zimbabwe with over 30 years' experience, manages the production of Pinot Noir grapes.
Simon McGeorge is the winemaker at Waipara Hills; prior to taking on the role in 2006 he worked on vintages in both the Russian River (California) and Loire Valley. He has always been interested in aromatic varieties such as Riesling and Pinot Gris and jumped at the opportunity to work in an emerging wine region seeking to reflect both the region they come from and the people that work to create them.