Altogether Unique

Telling the New Zealand Wine brand story, and what makes it truly unique and distinctive on the world stage, has been a key focus over the past year.

Dave Sutton

From Te Kano Estate in the Waitaki Valley, winemaker Dave Sutton offers insights into the year that was.

Matt Connell

Matt Connell's winemaking palette includes colours from across Central Otago, from Gibbston and Alexandra, to Bendigo and Bannockburn.

Stu Marfell and Sandy

Foley Wine’s chief Marlborough winemaker Stu Marfell grew up on a farm in the Awatere Valley, and has seen the area transformed by grapes over the past 40 years. The Marlborough Wine Show Judge explores the Awatere.

Jules Taylor. Photo Credit: Lisa Duncan

The founder, winemaker and namesake of Jules Taylor Wines, who was Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine's 2021 New Zealand Winemaker of the Year, pays homage to a surprisingly splendid vintage in Marlborough's 50th year of wine.

Mark and Sophie McGill at Abel.

Mark McGill, co-founder, grower and maker of Abel Cider and Chardonnay, reflects on the year that was from the boutique and beautiful Moutere block he's grown with his wife Sophie.

Jannine Rickards

Jannine Rickards, winemaker at Urlar, founder of Huntress Wines, previous chair and co-chair of the Wairarapa Winegrowers Association, hunter, gatherer and inspiration to many, says the region has high hopes for 2024.

Ben Tombs

Ben Tombs is stepping up to Chief Winemaker at Craggy Range, with Julian Grounds heading back across the Tasman to make wine on the Mornington Peninsula. The New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year 2020 gives us a taste of the trials, tribulations and triumphs in Te Matau-a-Māui in 2023.

Annie Millton.

Thirty-nine years after establishing The Millton Vineyards near Manutuke, Annie Millton reflects on the opportunities and challenges in Tairāwhiti, the first wine region in the world to see the sunrise each day.

Man O' War.

Sam Taylor took up a vintage position with Man O' War Vineyards on Waiheke Island 15 years ago, and has built his home and career on the island.

Central Otago is likely to be the only wine region in New Zealand regretting the end of La Niña’s three-year reign, says consultant viticulturist Timbo Morrison-Deaker.

North Canterbury required vineyard vigilance this season, with 245mm of rain over the three months to 18 April, compared to the long-term average of 143.7mm, according to VineFacts.

"We're very happy," says Neudorf Winemaker Todd Stevens, reporting clean fruit and "solid" volumes for vintage 2023, with flowering in their Moutere Hills vineyards better than summer estimates.

Nature kept Marlborough grapegrowers on their toe this season, then swept in with a beautiful second summer just when the industry needed it.

Richard Brimer's annual vintage road trip faced many of the same hurdles as wine companies this harvest, including ongoing rain and not-going ferries.

The impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle on the wine industry will be long lasting, says Mark Thompson, Chief Winemaker at GisVin and Chair of Gisborne Winegrowers Association.

At the other extreme of the nation's weather stats, Central Otago had low rainfall from December through February, with 44.4mm of rain (37% of the LTA) in the 82 days from 1 December to 20 February.

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