Date: Wednesday 10th February
Time: 8pm UK / 3pm EST/ 12pm PST
Join New Zealand wine expert Dr Jamie Goode as he interviews Wilco Lam.
All sessions will be hosted on Dr Jamie Goode's Instagram account - @drjamiegoode
Wilco Lam, Dry River - Martinborough
I moved to Martinborough in 2003, after finishing my Postgraduate studies and landing my first job in the local wine industry working for Martinborough Vineyards as a vineyard and cellar assistant. It felt like sliding into a warm bath and then finding all your bath toys under the foam. As the back garden for Wellington, the appeal of Martinborough and the Wairarapa was the many discoveries and possibilities that can be made here, which are subtle and not in your face. It is what gives this region a down to earth and welcoming feel.
I had left Holland on many occasions for studies and travels, but the intimacy and connectedness in New Zealand was something I had not experienced anywhere else. I discovered it was the people that made the difference, they were the real diamonds. When I received a job offer to be the Viticultural Manager for Alana Estate in Martinborough, it felt like I could make a contribution and I decided to try to stay in NZ longer.
The decision to establish myself in NZ proved challenging at times, but those were perhaps discoveries in myself too. Without a safe place, home, to easily fall back on, I believed that work ethic and attitude were going to set me apart from others to earn myself a real chance. What certainly made the difference and helped with putting down new roots was meeting my partner Rachel. I decided to leave Alana Estate, and the two of us had some amazing adventures in Europe; working at Tenuta di Valgiano in Italy in 2008, followed by an opportunity as Bell Hill’s Vineyard Manager in the South Island in 2008-2009. They all greatly helped to further my career and my understanding of winegrowing.
The chance to be closer to my NZ family in Martinborough arose when I was offered a position as Assistant Winemaker at Dry River Wines in late 2009. We quickly jumped on that opportunity and moved back up to Martinborough and started a family too. With the previous winemaking team either retiring or moving on, I was offered the role of winemaker for Dry River in 2013. I later also absorbed the role of Viticultural Manager, and since 2015 report to and discuss with our owner the welfare of the business.
Jamie is a London-based wine writer who is currently wine columnist with UK national newspaper The Sunday Express. As well as writing he also lectures and judges wine.