Friday, 11 September 2015 06:06

Young guns - Jason Cook

Written by 
Jason Cook. Jason Cook.

Jason Cook, age 35, works as an assistant winemaker at Indevin New Zealand.

How long have you worked in Gisborne?

Six years

What brought you to Gisborne?

I first came to Gisborne to study grape growing and winemaking at Tairawhiti Polytech (now EIT) in 2009.  Friends and contacts gained during this time led to further opportunities in the Gisborne wine industry post - study. 

Where have you travelled in wine to get here?

All over the Poverty Bay Flats…  Aside from a season spent as vineyard hand on Waiheke Island, all of my wine industry experience has been gained in Gisborne.  A vintage or two abroad is definitely on my to-do list.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people I work alongside here in Gisborne are a fantastic, down to earth and mostly relaxed  (see tropical cyclone) bunch of people.  There is an extraordinary resource of experience to tap into at the Indevin Gisborne Winery with workmates who have 20 + years experience dragging hoses, growing grapes and making wine in the region.

What do you enjoy most about Gisborne? 

The variety of the wines I am exposed to here in Gisborne. Our season begins early (late February) with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir harvested for méthode traditionnelle.  Every year we see fantastic Chardonnay through the gate for the tank and Barrique fermented table wines.  Floral Muscats, fresh and fruitful Pinot Gris and intensely perfumed Gewürztraminer all do fantastically in and around the Poverty Bay Flats.   

When you’re not making wine or growing grapes?  

I am sourdough culturing, slow motion DIY’ing around the house, playing bass guitar in front of the mirror or enjoying Gisborne’s amazing beaches with my beautiful family.

It sucks when…. 

You are told you can expect a tropical cyclone mid-harvest.

Your favourite wine? 

Is the wine in front of me…which is usually something local and of late, something from the ridiculously good 2013 vintage.  Current faves: Garagiste 2013 Chardonnay (Intense fruit, oak and butterscotch all in the right places), Family Company 2013 Gewurztraminer  (Rich, oily, intensely perfumed), Honorary 2013 Viognier (Barrel fermented, textured and rich Viognier in all it’s Apricot glory).

Which wine region excites you most right now? 

Gisborne. We are New Zealand’s best-kept (and most obvious) wine secret.  Our wines are always characterful, sometimes complex, sometimes not, always enjoyable and affordable.  The people’s wine region!  

Future aspirations?  

Keep learning, keep making and keep spreading the ‘good word’ about Gizzy wine. I also have aspirations for Rugby World Cup Glory later this year for Sir Richard and the boys. 

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