Growing grapevines is a complex business, says the Corteva Young Viticulturist of the Year. Throw in seasonal vagaries, plant physiology, technical advances and business strategies, as well as the challenge of managing people across a myriad of roles, and “no two seasons are the same”.
North Canterbury’s Waipara region is a wine rebel’s paradise. The birthplace of some of New Zealand’s most ambitious wines, it’s also home to Dom Maxwell, the winemaker at the acclaimed Greystone Wines.
Fate seemed to be conspiring against local winery Heron’s Flight during vintage. This year’s grape harvest was left in the hands of Leon Henson, David’s young winemaking assistant, who had been working there for just a year.
Clifford has helped create a point of difference for the North Canterbury wine region, she is the principal of a wine company where the two major roles are held by women, and is the current CEO of Eat New Zealand.
Jeremy Hyland is a viticulturalist who has championed the hard work New Zealand’s RSE workers and viticulture teams do over the winter months through the Silver Secateurs competition.
Kirsty is the first grape grower in New Zealand licensed to grow industrial hemp, thanks to legislation passed in November 2018 allowing the seed to be grown as a food product. As well as extra income, hemp is proving to be an excellent cover crop, attracting insects and nurturing the soil.
It takes a lot of gumption to take on a vineyard and wine label that is etched into New Zealand’s wine history. But Kirsten Searle was not phased by the prestige that was associated with the name Matawhero.