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’s dawn at Constellation Brand’s Awatere Hills vineyard, and Katie Bruce is leaf plucking with a view. Katie, the 17-year-old vineyard hand, graduated from the New Zealand School of Winegrowing last year, the only Marlborough Girls’ College student in the first intake and a brilliant poster child for the initiative.
Originally from Oregon, Jen Parr, winemaker at Valli Vineyards, now calls Central Otago her home. Like many people in the wine industry, her career did not follow a straight path. She began in financial software sales and is now an award-winning winemaker and recent finalist in the Gourmet Traveller NZ Winemaker of the Year award.
Lee Winston is the founder and winemaker of the daring, new Untitled range offering a white, pink and red blend. Untitled stands for a range of skillfully blended wines that are in no way entitled. Their unique character is a reflection of hard work. They’re here to challenge expectations, creating their own path.
We teamed up with podcast creator Lawrence Francis of Interpreting Wine to provide in-depth coverage of our annual tasting in London and interviews with Jamie Marfell, Warren Gibson, Sam Bennett, Kevin Judd, Rebecca Gibb MW, Ronan Sayburn.